Glass container recovery as a percentage of glass consumption has maintained its 2013 level of 69% according to data released by the Glass Packaging Forum (the Forum). Consumption of glass packaging has declined by 7% and there has been a corresponding reduction in recovery.
John Webber, General Manager of the Forum said:-
“Over the past decade glass recovery has increased from 50% to 69%. This has been achieved through voluntary product stewardship supporting the work of local authorities and New Zealand is now on a par with the European average of 70%. Over the same period the Forum has raised around $6.5 million to help support research and development, capital projects and consumer awareness and education programmes.”
“We continue to hit the targets set out in our voluntary glass packaging product stewardship scheme however the Forum believes in continually raising the bar so we have set a new target of 78% by 2017 which is the final year of our current scheme’s accreditation. To do this we need to recover some of the glass which is not currently being recycled.”
“Over the past year we have looked at what is currently being collected nationwide and related this to the potential within the catchment area. We have been able to satisfactorily determine the areas of lower performance and identify opportunities for gains. More important than the general locations, are the local activities influencing the volumes and quality of glass. These include type of collections (commingled or otherwise); lack of collections particularly in the hostel restaurant and catering sector; logistics and distribution of the glass; and the management of one off events at which glass bottles are consumed. We have also set out to improve the quality of data from some locations where the information was inconsistent with our expectations.”
“If we can direct our funding towards projects which will deliver the greatest returns in those parts of the country and sectors identified, we believe we will be able to incrementally increase the recycling rate over the next three years. Last year we spent around $350,000 on projects such as the installation of glass pods, glass bunkers and bottle banks and consumer awareness to increase glass recovery over the longer term.”
In 2013 the Forum received accreditation for its public place recycling scheme which is a planned seven year $7 million industry funded initiative to triple the number of public place recycling facilities and reduce litter.
Mr Webber says that the Forum’s two voluntary schemes show what can be achieved by industry working collectively.
“Whilst the major political parties have varying policies relating to packaging product stewardship they all agree that industry must do more to increase the packaging recycling rate by increasing both the recyclability of packaging and the amount which is recovered and recycled from kerbside and public places. The Forum believes that the best way to do this is through industry initiated schemes and our two schemes provide a great template for us to extend to other packaging materials.”
John Webber, General Manager: 021 949 215
Lyn Mayes, Project Manager: 021 471 261
The Forum’s Glass Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme was accredited under the Waste Minimisation Act in 2010. The scheme covers around 80% of the glass on the market in New Zealand primarily for food and beverages and includes the major manufacturer of glass containers, brand owners and retailers. The Forum captures recycling data from 90% local authorities and has MOUs with 32 councils representing 83% ratepayers.
In addition The Glass Packaging Forum manages the Public Place Recycling Scheme which received accreditation in November 2013. The scheme promotes the Love NZ brand and sets out targets to recycle paper, plastic, cans and glass packaging consumed in public places and to reduce litter.