Defra has launched a long-awaited consultation on amending the glass packaging recycling business target.
The consultation was prompted by the findings of the GlassFlow Report, an analysis of the glass packaging supply chain published by WRAP and Valpak in October.
Defra acknowledged that new evidence indicated the glass waste arisings total used to calculate the statutory business targets for 2013-2017 was “some 350k tonnes too high”.
The department is seeking views from packaging ‘producers’, compliance schemes, reprocessors and exporters, food and drink manufacturers, waste management companies and local authorities on five options:
- 1) Keep the target at 81%
- 2a) Lower the target to 75% and maintain the split between remelt and aggregate at 63% and 37%, respectively
- 2b) Lower the target to 75% and amend the split between remelt and aggregate to 65% and 35%
- 3a) Lower target to 77% and maintain the split between remelt and aggregate at 63% and 37%, respectively
- 3b) Lower the target to 77% and amend the split between remelt and aggregate to to 66% and 34%.
The GlassFlow Report had suggested that with the 81% target the UK had achieved a 68% recycling rate in 2012, beyond the 60% set by the EU.
Defra estimated that reducing the target to 77% would deliver 65% recycling while a cut to 75% would deliver 62% recycling.
The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) had called for 77%.
According to the impact assessment provided by Defra, lowering the target to 75% and maintaining the split between remelt and aggregate (2a) would deliver the highest overall benefit, estimated at £4.23m at present value for the four years to 2017. This would result from savings for local authorities and obligated producers.
However, it would also mean reprocessors, exporters and MRF operators would have to bear a net cost of £3.5m at present value, the highest among the options, as a result of decreased revenues from materials and PRNs/PERNs.
The least burdensome option for them would be reducing the target to 77% and amending the split to 66% and 34% (3b), said to bring about a net cost of £810,000 at present value. This option would cause the smallest reduction in remelt tonnages processed and PRNs.
Defra said it did not have a preferred option but did not intend to keep the 81% target.
- The consultation closes on 17 January 2014 and it is available here.