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2013 Review - Rebecca Cocking

2013 has been a year of uncertainty for many involved in glass, with more expected in 2014.

The high PRN prices continued into 2013 showing no signs of easing. Despite the high PRN prices the amount of glass collected did not significantly increase and we saw an increase in the amount of material being exported.

The significant PRN price increase through 2012 and into 2013 resulted in a comprehensive review of all glass data being carried out by WRAP and Valpak this was released in October 2013.

The report included the following findings:

  • UK glass packaging consumption is lower than currently estimated;
  • UK packaging consumption is estimated at 2.4 – 2.5 million tonnes a year;
  • Using revised consumption data the UK met the 60% target for 2012;
  • Based on these estimates, it may be possible to reduce business targets and still meet the 60% target;
  • The amount of glass being collected co-mingled is increasing.

A revision to the current glass targets could have consequences if the targets are set too low. Some believe that a reduction could result in the PRN price dropping considerably, however others believe if the target is set correctly then the PRN price should stabilise to what is believed to be a more sustainable level.

2013 saw the introduction of the End of Waste Guidance for Glass. The requirement of the Waste Framework Directive was for Member States to acknowledge the End of Waste Criteria. It is up to businesses to decide whether they wish to become accredited to End of Waste.

One final note, 2013 reported an increase in the amount of glass being exported which has helped the UK meet its targets, however there are concerns regarding the amount of material being declared for export and whether processes losses have been included in the totals. It has been suggested that this issue which not only affects glass is being investigated. Any changes could potentially affect the amount of material declared resulting in more pressure being put on the PRN system. 

Whilst for some all of this may be concerning it should be noted that end market potential has not yet been met and therefore if we can sort out the collection of material end markets are available to take the material.

Rebecca Cocking, head of container affairs, British Glass. This article is taken from thr MRW Handbook

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