The Government has confirmed that glass recycling targets for obligated businesses will be lowered from the current 81 per cent.
This year, the glass recycling target will be 75 per cent, 76 per cent in 2015 and then 77 per cent from 2016 onwards.
It will also increase the remelt/aggregate split to 65 per cent remelt in 2014, 66 per cent in 2015 and 67 per cent in 2016.
In the consultation document, Defra wrote: “The targets reflect new and better evidence of both the total levels of glass packaging being placed on the market/available for recycling, and the proportion available for remelt.
“Government has decided to proceed with this ‘hybrid’ option as it provides the best of both worlds – it reduces the target with immediate effect to a level which should have a very real impact on glass PRN prices. However, setting an incrementally increasing glass target gives industry a clear investment signal and time to invest. This should enable higher recycling rates to be delivered in future at a lower cost than currently possible.”
This option was not actually consulted on by Defra, but was suggested by a number of respondents to the consultation. Those who suggested this option felt that the “initial step-change would introduce the desired reduction of glass tonnage from the market straight away which producers are seeking, but by increasing the target over the subsequent years the incentive to invest in the system would be maintained”, according to Defra.
An option that would have seen the glass recycling target reduced to 75 per cent and the split between remelt and aggregate maintained at the same percentages was backed by 49 per cent of those who responded – this made it the most popular option. But the Government opted for the hybrid suggestion in the end.
The new regulations will be implemented as soon as possible, according to Defra, and a regulatory statement will be issued by the Environment Agency to clarify that no enforcement action will be taken against those who fail to meet the current targets that will now be changed.
To view the Government consultation response, click here