This week British Glass announced its sector increased this type of recycling by 80,000 tonnes in 2003.
The figures put the industry somewhat back on track, having suffered a decrease of 50,000 tonnes in closed loop recycling - the term given to recycling the product back into its original form - a spokesperson for the trade federation, British Glass told edie.
Around 100,000 tonnes glass went to alternative recycling, for example for use for shot blasting, water filtration and brick manufacturing. In total the UK recycled approximately 875,000 tonnes of glass - 617,500 tonnes of that was closed loop. However, these figures are awaiting Defra confirmation.
Yet more still needs to be done for the industry to meet its 60% recycling target by 2008 under the EU Packaging Waste Directive, especially if it is to meet its domestic target of 71% by the same year (see related story).
British glass have estimated that 110,000 tonnes more of total recycling need to be achieved every year for the next five years if these targets are to be met - and have called for a sustained level of Defra investment to make this possible.
Andrew Hartley, directory of strategy and communication for packaging at British Glass told edie that the real challenge for his association is to convince local authorities to spend their recycling budget on glass recycling. He said at the moment local governments are prioritising green waste over glass, and that this needs to change if packaging waste targets are to be met.
Meanwhile, this week Defra announced a further funding of £43 million for local authority recycling projects, bringing the sum of government recycling funding, outside London, to £223 million since 2002/2003.