Sheffield, UK - British Glass, in collaboration with WRAP, has released a comprehensive roadmap outlining the steps necessary to achieve a 90% glass recycling capture rate by 2030 and increase closed loop recycling. This ambitious initiative aims to enhance the UK's glass recycling efforts, promoting sustainability and circular economy principles within the glass packaging industry in order to achieve a true closed loop system for glass recycling.
The report, titled “A Roadmap to Closed Loop Glass Recycling", provides a detailed analysis of current glass recycling practices in the UK, utilising the latest available data to identify areas for improvement. Key findings reveal that while the UK's glass recycling rate stands at over 75%, significant untapped potential remains, with approximately 600,000 tonnes of glass lost to residual waste annually.
The roadmap highlights the importance of transitioning away from co-mingling materials towards separate glass collections for glass as this is a key enabler to improving the final cullet quality for closed loop recycling. Additionally, it highlights the need for reductions in the frequency and capacity of residual waste collections, aiming to incentivise recycling behaviours in consumers.
A critical insight from the report is the proven success of separate collection schemes, exemplified by the Welsh Collections Blueprint. By implementing efficient kerbside separated sort systems, Wales has achieved one of the highest recycling rates in Europe with 92% of glass disposed at home being placed in recycling boxes.
Commenting on the roadmap, Dr Nick Kirk, Technical Director, British Glass, said, "Achieving at least a 90% glass recycling capture rate is imperative in fostering a sustainable future for the glass industry. This roadmap provides a strategic framework to guide stakeholders in the glass supply chain towards this ambitious but achievable target if the report’s findings are implemented. We encourage local authorities and government to continue to engage with ourselves and WRAP; support and collaboration is key in ensuring glass is correctly and efficiently collected and recycled, and this report is a great platform to work from."
The report also mentions the importance of communication campaigns to raise awareness among consumers and businesses, and the benefits of glass recycling. By engaging with consumers to improve their knowledge, British Glass aims to optimise glass capture rates and continue the drive towards a circular economy.
As the UK prepares to implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations and other legislative measures aimed at enhancing resource efficiency, British Glass is committed to supporting stakeholders in navigating these changes and maximising the potential for glass recycling.