BAN Waste Select Committee evidence

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Phase 1 Day 3 2001-10-04 Ron England (Glass Recycling UK, Barnsley)

written evidence submitted in advance

The U.K. Glass Industry produces 1,800,000 tonnes of glass containers per year, which equals to 6,000,000,000 bottles and jars each year. The waste stream is increased by 400.000 tonnes due to an imbalance between Exports and Imports. Therefore there are 2.200.000 tonnes of glass packaging in the waste stream.

Of this figure the Glass Industry recovers 550,000 tonnes = 25%

The EEC Directive on Packaging says that 56% of all packaging has to be recovered. For glass this means 1,232,000 tonnes to be recovered. Therefore there is a shortfall of 682,000 tonnes.

This can be compared to other materials.

Paper 40%
Aluminium 25%
Steel 24%
Plastic 7%


On average 1Kg. of glass per household per week is used. - glass containers. This is the logic behind Bring systems.

60% of all glass collected comes from Supermarket car parks. It is guesstimated that there are 1,400,000 tonnes in the waste stream. In the last few years every effort has been made to improve and increase the number of Bring sites available to the General Public.

In some council areas 'kerbside' collections have been projected, with material being collected either separated or co - mingled. Some schemes are costing �146 per tonne against waste disposal costs of �28 per tonne.


This covers Pubs, Clubs, Hotels - in fact every licensed bar!! There are 1,000 people for every commercial outlet. A guesstimate of tonnage in the commercial waste stream is 800,000 tonnes, giving 5.2 tonnes per outlet per year. The projected costs of this operation plus distribution to the end user will be �75 per tonne.


There are two types of market.

PRIMARY - material going back into itself. I.e. glass being turned into glass.

SECONDARY - material going into another material i.e. glass going into tarmac.

Material going into PRIMARY will have a higher value and usually the cost/value relationship is on par, whilst in SECONDARY there is a NEGATIVE balance between costs/value.

Of the projected 1,232,000 tonnes to be collected, the Glass Industry will be saturated at approximately 900,000 tonnes depending on the quality of the final product. Therefore 332,000 tonnes will go into alternative uses.

There are enough alternative uses to absorb this amount, but it is of low value. Every effort is being used to find higher value end use markets.