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WRAP data prompts British Glass to repeat DRS plea

British Glass again called on the Welsh government to rethink its plans to include glass in its deposit return scheme (DRS), by highlighting  statistics released by WRAP Cymru which show glass recorded a 92% kerbside collection rate in 2021/22

. EPR involves industries covering 100% of the expenses related to collecting and recycling their packaging materials. This adjustment will also ease the potential inflationary impact, which on its own could add approximately £2 billion per year.

The figures were published by WRAP Cymru in June and show that 92% of glass was captured in the Welsh kerbside recycling system in 2021/22, out of around 1.5 million tonnes.

As part of the Welsh DRS system, household jars such those used for jam will be continued to be recycled through the kerbside collection scheme and glass bottles will become a part of the DRS.

British Glass however has reiterated that this would “make it more confusing for consumers to recycle and risks increasing industry emissions by more than 2 million tonnes”.

It also highlights that there will be “significant additional costs” for Welsh drinks producers.

Change

Phil Fenton, head of packaging and recycling at British Glass , said: “The recycling figures from WRAP Cymru show what a fantastic job Wales’ kerbside collections are doing for glass – with year-on-year increases.

“At British Glass we want to build on the impressive glass recycling record, which is why we have been calling for the Welsh system to be used as a blueprint for the entire UK. Consistent household collections across the UK would make it easier and more convenient for people to recycle, would provide better environmental outcomes, and would be a better solution for businesses.

“The fantastic glass collection rate of 92% is already a better recycling rate than most countries’ deposit return schemes; why would the Welsh Government want to put that at risk by changing a system that’s working, and introducing a DRS that damages glass recycling rates?

“If we look to Sweden – considered a model country for glass recycling – glass collection rates consistently sit at around 95%, and are achieved by keeping glass outside of its DRS. If Wales goes down this route, I truly believe they can achieve similar results.”

Considerable risk

The inclusion of glass in Wales’ Deposit Return Scheme, compared to the rest of UK, poses a “considerable risk” to businesses operating on both sides of the border, the body added.

The Welsh government however has consistently defended its plans to include glass, dismissing concerns that the UK government might repeat what it did with Scotland and block it (see letsrecycle.com story).

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