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Glass recycling price plummet

April 7, 2005

Glass recycling price plummet about to throw recycling in chaos

New Zealand's glass recycling is in danger of plunging into crisis and growing glass stockpiles are about to blot the national landscape, zero waste leader Jo Knight said today.

The price for clear recycled glass per tonne is about to drop from $75 a tonne to $10 a tonne on May 1. This will discourage groups, towns and cities from sending the glass to Auckland to be melted down and recycled.

All the glass in New Zealand is recycled by the ACI Glass Packaging furnaces in Auckland. ACI is a subsidiary of an American company.

Knight, chief executive of Zero Waste New Zealand Trust, said the current glass reclycling debacle was caused by New Zealand's reliance on a single overseas-owned player to recycle all the country's glass.New Zealand's excellent record in reclycing is producing more than even enough glass for the Auckland recycling plant.

``This has plunged the sector into potential chaos. glass recovery and recycling in New Zealand has been dealt a blow with the country having only one major glass recycler,'' she said.

ACI Glass has a monopoly on processing large quantities of glass from around New Zealand. The price drops will send more shockwaves to glass recycling schemes around the
country.


The worst case scenario is a breakdown in glass recycling in New Zealand
with an increase in glass to landfill.

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has said the Packaging Accord will provide the solution to finding new options for recycling glass. A minustry study has just been started to find a solution.

"The Ministry for the Environment is working with industry groups, including glass manufacturers and importers, to determine ways that used glass can be better managed and reused," Hobbs has said.

There has been an increase in the amount of glass being imported, some of which is less suitable for recycling. The recycled glass from wine and beer bottle glass gives a higher return than clear glass. Imported glass now makes up over 36 per cent of glass consumed in New Zealand.

World experts have been in high level talks at the international zero waste conference at Kaikoura this week to discuss how to rid the planet of growing waste mountains.

Every New Zealander dumps about one tonne of rubbish every year and more than 130 delegates from Australia, South Africa, Wales, Botswana, England, Scotland, Canada, the US and New Zealand are hearing the latest developments in zero waste and progress being made across New Zealand and overseas.

ENDS

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