Industry to pay levy to fund glass recycling

Major glass users in New Zealand have agreed to pay a voluntary levy on imported glass to cover a shortfall between the costs of collecting the glass and the price paid for it by glass recyclers.

Last year, major glass recycler ACI Glass reduced the price it pays for glass, leaving a shortfall to local councils responsible for collecting it.

Today, Packaging Accord 2004 governing board chairman Tony Nowell announced a group of companies -- a "significant" majority of the glass packaging industry -- had agreed to the levy for six months to allow a long-term solution to be found.

The companies involved are ACI Glass, Sutton Group, Coca-Cola Amatil, Lion Nathan, Foodstuffs, Progressive Enterprises, Frucor Beverages, Fosters Group, Endeavour Glass and DB Breweries.

"This is a first and important step by our industry to recognise that we all have a responsibility to manage the environmental impacts of the products which we make and sell," Mr Nowell said in a statement.

The levy covers clear glass, which represents about 25 per cent of the 95 kilotonnes of glass recovered in New Zealand last year.

Local Government New Zealand president Basil Morrison welcomed the industry move.

"The agreement by industry to a levy on glass throws many councils a lifeline for the next six months while further work is done to find a long-term solution to glass recovery issues," Mr Morrison said.

"Local Government New Zealand is looking forward to obtaining more detail of the proposal and working through what the resolution means for councils."

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