Minister stirs DRS fears over glass and aluminum
The glass and aluminum industries fought back after newly appointed Environment Minister Jo Churchill appeared to dismiss concerns about the planned deposit system (DRS) for beverage containers.
Speaking at a meeting on the sidelines of the Conservative Party conference hosted by think tank Bright Blue, Churchill said the DRS would increase the amount of beverage containers collected and suggested that the aluminum and glass sectors should cooperate in the new system to increase the overall recycling rate.
But the glass and aluminum industries have long argued that including their materials in the program would be counterproductive, as both can already be easily recycled.
Aluminum trading organization Alupro is concerned that it will be cheaper to buy a large plastic beverage container than the equivalent of small aluminum containers if a per container charge is imposed. He cited public support for a variable charge to avoid this.
Glass companies fear that this program could hamper efficiency by dividing the material between the DRS and the curbside collections of local authorities.
Phillip Fenton, Senior Packaging and Recycling Advisor at British Glass, said: “The deposit system is ultimately about increasing recycling rates, but the glass industry believes it will do the opposite.
“Including glass in a DRS will be detrimental to glass recycling rates and will have a number of unintended consequences, including an increase in the carbon footprint of the glass industry and a change in material.
“Under DRS’s proposals at this time, there will be no closed recast or bottle-to-bottle recycling rate. Under the current PRN system, we have this economic and regulatory incentive to make sure the glass goes back into bottles and jars and it’s unique to glass.
“Also under a DRS, the glass is susceptible to being crushed, broken or compacted and this reduces the quality of the material which can be sorted by color.”
Fenton said Wales had already achieved just under 90% glass capture thanks to local authorities’ door-to-door collections, “and we believe the forthcoming reforms may achieve similar success rates across the rest of the world. UK”.
Alupro Managing Director Tom Giddings said he would welcome “the implementation of a well-designed deposit system and much-needed reforms to the UK recycling system through the UK recycling regulations. extended producer responsibility.
“Legislation has a central role to play in achieving the goal of net zero and doing so from the start must be a key priority. So it’s extremely important to look at all angles and ask potentially difficult questions – this is the only way to collaboratively create a recycling system that is truly world-leading.