Proposals for a glass remelt sub-target have been welcomed by glass recyclers, but aggregates manufacturers remain cautious.
Recresco director Tim Gent told MRW that the company felt “quite strongly” there should be a sub-target.
He said: “[This isn’t] because we have anything against aggregate as an end use. It is absolutely necessary. But the packaging recovery note (PRN) system without a sub-target tends to encourage its use into aggregate instead of re-melt. Because the transportation of the glass to its end market is very expensive now, it is often easier to bring it into an aggregate end use that’s nearby.”
Gent also welcomed Government proposals to increase the recycling targets for packaging producers from 2013: “If you do not increase targets, you have got to scrap the PRN system because, at current levels, it costs more to manage and do all the paperwork than we raise in revenue.”
Meanwhile, aggregates producers have urged caution over the proposals.
Day Group contracts manager Myles Willingdale told MRW: “Our feeling with regard to the initial proposal of splitting the targets is one of caution, because we need to recycle 1.7 million tonnes of glass. I think the container industry, despite what it says, has very little capacity to extend past about 650,000 or 700,000 tonnes.
“Quite where the other tonnes would go if you were to restrict the aggregate market is a very good question. Without the aggregate industry or alternative markets, there is no way the UK has any chance of complying with its current obligations.
“While I believe glass into re-melt is the best carbon solution, unless you have other options available, there is no way we can meet the targets. I think the industries need to work closely together to ensure that targets are met, with perhaps the container industry having the pick of the better quality material because that should be made back into glass.”