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Glass warning for councils

Councils must take responsibility for the UK's oversupply of green glass, according to the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC).

Around half of the glass collected for recycling in the UK is green.

LARAC held talks last week with the glass sector to discuss this colour imbalance, made worse by mixed collections because the material cannot be recycled into clear glass.

LARAC chairman Lee Marshall said: "Local authorities can help protect themselves from a downturn in the market by keeping the different colours separated as far down the line as possible.

"While local authorities aren't well placed to play the markets, LARAC would advise its members to do what they can to ensure that flint (clear) and amber (brown) glass continue to be separated and recycled into new containers, where there is still considerable potential for growth."

LARAC discussed developing markets for the UK's excess green glass with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

It also asked British Glass representatives what they as end users wanted from the glass collected by councils.

British Glass director of strategy and communications Andrew Hartley said: "The UK's natural colour imbalance is accelerating dangerously due to the rapid growth in mixed collection.

"This is placing great strain on the markets for glass. Keeping colour separation and working together to direct surplus green glass to alternative markets still presents massive market development issues, but is by far the best long term option for the UK".

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