Defra to consult on new glass business recycling target of 77 per cent


A consultation will take place on a new target for glass packaging of 77 per cent after a report found that the amount of glass believed to be on the market was too high.

This compares to the current target of 81 per cent until 2017. 


WRAP commissioned the GlassFlow report from Valpak to look at why the first three quarters of 2012 produced a much lower volume of glass packaging reported for reprocessing or export than previous years that led to a PRN price spike at the end of the year that has continued until now.

Although the last quarter of 2012 reported record reprocessing tonnages and so targets were met, but producers were faced with significantly higher compliance costs than expected.

The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) has now suggested a new target as a result, and Defra will consult on this business target of 77 per cent.

In a document on the National Packaging Waste Database, ACP has published its recommendations to the Government on the revised target.

These are:

  • The Government should use new GlassFlow tonnage estimates for material placed on the market of approximately 2,400kt per year to calculate statutory business recycling targets and as the basis for reporting to Europe.
  • Illegal imports should be excluded from future estimates for material placed on the market and calculations for statutory business recycling targets.
  • Defra should revise statutory business recycling targets for 2014 and beyond to a level which provides a reasonable cushion above the national target, but minimises cost to business. The ACP initially suggests aiming for a national achievement of 63 per cent to 64 in 2014 which would require a business target of approximately 77 per cent.
  • In view of the urgency, Defra should develop a timetable to enable making the amendments to business targets as early as possible in 2014. This should include issuing appropriate communications to industry during 2013 and 2014 to inform them of the likelihood of a change so that expectations can be set.
  • The ACP should implement a timely and regular process for monitoring quarterly glass reprocessing data to demonstrate transparency and to pick up potential market shortfalls at an earlier stage. The EA should provide the ACP with information in advance of publication so the ACP can prepare and make public comments immediately the figures are published.
  • ACP would like the Environment Agency to consider how to quantify more of the recycled material which is not accounted for in the PRN system, particularly by encouraging processors who currently do not issue PRNs to register.
  • Producers should be briefed before the start of the next compliance year on the market principles behind the PRN system.
  • ACP to monitor and keep Defra up to date on trends, data etc.
  • Environment Agency should prioritise the elimination of fraud from the system.

The GlassFlow report can be seen at


The ACP recommendations can be seen in full at