Q3 packaging results show glass recycling targets almost impossible to meet


Glass packaging recycling targets look like they will be impossible to meet for this year, after Q3 data showed a huge shortfall in the amount recycled.

Only 350,000 tonnes of glass were recovered for the period, which falls short of the corresponding period in 2011 by just over 90,000 tonnes. In order for the UK’s compliance system to have any chance of meeting the 2012 targets, a repeat of 2011’s performance was required as a bare minimum.


Unless what seems like an impossible 565,000 tonnes of glass is recovered in the final quarter, some producers and/or compliance scheme will not be able to satisfy their legal obligations this year.

SCM scrap-ex environmental markets manager Joe Savage said: “This will now draw questions regarding the actual targets set within the regime as it seems that the UK does not have the immediate ability to recover the required volumes annually. The root cause of the shortfall remains to be fully explained, but notable cancellation of PRN accreditations and rumours of fraudulently issued evidence in previous years suggests the actual true performance in previous years is now unclear.

“There are suggestions the final quarter may see some improvement as current pricing levels make it more viable to find markets for waste glass packaging, and a possible improvement on exports will help to boost the figures.”

Steel also remains a concern with 90,000 tonnes of recovery needed to meet the target up from the 77,000 recovered in Q3.

Revised figures for Q1 and Q2 for plastics, as well as improved performance in Q3 suggest 2012 targets should be met.