British Glass: Glass Recycling Grows But Increases Are Slowing

The annual amount of glass recycled to make new bottles and jars has increased to a record 756,000 tonnes according to estimates from British Glass.

The preliminary figures from the trade association's members indicate that the container industry recycled an additional 14,000 tonnes of glass in 2006, up from 742,000 tonnes in 2005.

Whilst the growth in recycling is encouraging, the rate of growth has slowed from 10 per cent in 2005 to 1.8 per cent in 2006. British Glass says the reduced growth rate is in a large part due to increased demand for aggregates and casts doubts on glass recycling reaching the Packaging Waste Directive target of 60 per cent by 2008.

Much of last year's growth was due to a huge increase in the amount of glass recycled in the first quarter of 2006. However, in the second half of the year the amount of glass recycled to make new containers fell below the same period last year.

Official DEFRA figures show the total glass recycling in quarter three of 2006 was 314,180 tonnes compared with 325,993 in the same period of 2005.

Commenting on the figures, Rebecca Cocking, British Glass recycling manager said: "These figures are a concern. If this slow-down continues there must be real doubt about future targets. Already we need an additional 125,000 tonnes to reach the 2007 target. Whilst some of our Members believe unaccredited collectors could be stockpiling glass, it's unlikely to have an impact on this year's figures."

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