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Industry bodies investigate glass pack supply chain

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Industry bodies investigate glass pack supply chain

April 24
09:35 2013

Valpak, Wrap, the Advisory Committee on Packaging and other key stakeholders are working on a new project which will investigate the glass packaging supply chain in the United Kingdom.

Defra, the Environment Agency and British Glass are also working on the project.

According to the trade bodies, the key drivers for this project are to gain a better understanding of the volatility experienced in the market in 2012 and the potential impact(s) of the introduction of split targets for glass, which mean that to achieve compliance in 2013 a minimum of 63% of glass packaging recycling must come from remelt.

In addition, although compliance for glass was achieved in 2012, the surplus carry-over of PRN/PERN evidence into 2013 was reduced to 16,700 tonnes compared to the 57,000 tonnes carried over into 2012 (at the end of 2011), which potentially makes reaching compliance in 2013 more difficult.

A related issue for glass to remelt to be considered in this analysis is the quality of the glass collected for recycling, according to the group of stakeholders. This affects the economics of using glass cullet in place of virgin materials from the viewpoint of glass container manufacturers.

The main objectives of this project will be:

  • To improve market transparency and information on glass packaging recovery and recycling in the UK
  • To identify and evaluate possible risks to UK compliance for glass this year, and in subsequent years to 2017, and
  • To develop scenarios to assess and quantify potential market supply/demand for increased glass recycling, including collection, sorting, processing and reprocessing

‘Unexpected changes’

Bob Lisney, chairman of the ACP, said: “The ACP has been keen to understand the reasons for the unexpected changes in the glass market for PRNs last year.

“As a result, we have joined with a task group of stakeholders to investigate the flows of material in the UK and to develop some forecasts for the next few years of the targets. This will give us a good understanding of the glass PRN market which hopefully will be welcomed by those directly involved in the industry.”

The current status of the glass market will be quantified in terms of the tonnages flowing on to the market with estimates split by colour and by format, building an overall picture for the UK, and separately for Scotland and for Wales.

The project will also look back at events in the glass market to gain a better understanding of the likely evolution of glass packaging PRN/PERNs (in terms of tonnages and prices).

Steve Gough, Valpak’s chief executive said: “We felt that this work was of sufficient importance to commit time and resource to the project. We also believe that it must engage with those key stakeholders, to whom this information is essential, in terms of planning for cost effective UK compliance, identifying any barriers to more effective glass collection and recycling and ensuring that the UK is best placed to comply with EU targets and to do so at lowest cost to industry.

“The support of those key stakeholders is essential to ensure that a full and comprehensive investigation is carried out and that it involves all those parties who have expert knowledge of the sector and a vested interest in the system working effectively.”

‘Improve market transparency’

Marcus Gover, Director of Closed Loop Economy, Wrap added:“This project will improve market transparency and information on glass recovery and recycling in the UK, it will inform debate within the industry and generate consensus about specific actions that the industry, together with Wrap and others, could potentially deliver to enable more glass packaging recovery and recycling in the UK.”

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