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Packaging recycling target for glass goes under consultation

DEFRA have launched a consultation, to consider whether or not to change the packaging recycling target for glass.

As it currently stands, 81% of all glass tonnage on the UK Market must be recovered and recycled. This means that for producers handling glass packaging, the PRN obligation is calculated by tonnage of packaging handled x relevant activity percentage (manufacture/conversion/pack-fill/sell) x the 81% recycling target.

The Consultation released today proposes 5 options:

     a) Option 1 - Do nothing

     b) Option 2 (a) - Lower the glass recycling target to 75% 

     c) Option 2 (b) - Lower the glass recycling target to 75% and amend remelt and aggregate split

     d) Option 3 (a) - Lower the glass recycling target to 77%

     e) Option 3 (b) - Lower the glass recycling target to 77% and amend remelt and aggregate split

To read the consultation please click here...

A glass industry report, published in October, has shown that the amount of glass placed on the UK market had been overestimated by around 350,000 tonnes per year. This means that the actual total tonnage is closer to 2.4 million tonnes, than to 2.75 million tonnes originally estimated, which is what the 81% target is based upon.

Throughout 2013, we have seen pressures on the market to meet the total PRN demand, and it is thought that removing 4% of the glass obligation (around 80,000 tonnes) could reduce some of the tightness on the market and potentially lower the price of glass PRNs during 2014. However, there are other factors influencing the market that could lead to the price remaining high into 2014. Increased scrutiny on aggregate and exporter accreditations by the EA could mean that there is a drop in supply by up to 50,000 tonnes. The good weather has had a positive impact on the volume of glass packaging sold, which means obligations will be higher for 2014 than they were for 2013 anyway.

James Piper, Commercial Manager said: "Whilst it is encouraging to see DEFRA reviewing the targets in order to lower costs for producers in 2014. There are a lot of elements that could make the reduction in price limited. Therefore it is essential members work with their scheme to understand ways to maximise the benefit of a volatile year."

Throughout yet another turbulent year in the glass PRN market, ecosurety has continually worked hard to minimise our members' exposure to higher pricing and removed risk wherever possible. Following shortages in the supply of aggregate PRNs, ecosurety ensured that we closed out our purchasing as early as possible and that we fulfilled all of our aggregate requirements. By identifying and reacting to the early warning signs in the market, ecosurety secured all of the necessary tonnage to cover our members' glass aggregate obligation, so that they will not be exposed to higher pricing as a result of substituting the cheaper glass aggregate with more expensive remelt PRNs.


Robbie Staniforth

Head of policy

Having gained a wealth of experience in regulatory affairs, waste issues and secondary commodity market analysis, Robbie uses his skills internally as an operational board member and externally to influence legislation change as head of policy. He is responsible for liaising with government, regulators and industry organisations to articulate complex views and interests and to provide high-level policy expertise, industry insight and market analysis to our members.


Written by Robbie Staniforth Published 17/12/2013 Topics Compliance

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