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Glass recycler voices concerns over mixed collections

The director of a prominent glass recycler has used a factory visit as a platform to voice his concerns over increased mixed glass collections.

Redfearn Glass opened its doors to the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) in an effort to help members understand more about the recycling process.

Director Nigel Pritchard said: The move towards mixed glass collections has created a major issue for glass container recyclers. Mixed glass collections contain on average 50% green glass and while we can extract the amber and clear fractions, we are unable to extract it all. [This has created] a major issue for both the economics of recycling and our ability to re-use.

To make recycling glass economically viable for companies like us, we, the Government and all others involved in the waste collection and recycling processes need to think more inclusively about the recycling process.

The Barnsley-based company invited the Yorkshire and Humber IEMA into its factory where details were given of the process involved in glass manufacture, how recycled glass is used and the issues the industry currently faces as a result of increasing recycling targets.

While Redfearn uses cullet collected locally to manufacture new glass containers for food and drink companies, it also provides complete production, design and decoration such as sleeving, coating and printing of recycled packaging.

IEMA Yorkshire and Humber steering group member Sally Lack said: All the delegates found the Redfearn tour extremely interesting and informative. Our members are from a variety of environmental backgrounds- industry, consultancy, the public sector and education- and these visits help to broaden their knowledge in different areas.

Recycling is a high profile topic and it is great to see how local authorities and manufacturers are working together to improve recycling rates.


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