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Two out of three glass containers recycled


19th August, 2012

Two out of three glass containers recycled or around 626 million bottles a year

At its Annual General Meeting, the Glass Packaging Forum (the Forum) released details of its performance against the targets set out in its product stewardship scheme.

John Webber, General Manager said that in the second year of reporting on the Forum’s scheme, one of seven schemes accredited under the Waste Minimisation Act, it is meeting or on track to meet its targets:-

“In New Zealand 242,300 tonnes of glass containers were consumed equivalent to around 945 million bottles or jars. Our industry pays a voluntary levy totaling $3.90 per tonne with contributions from manufacturers and importers of glass packaging, brand owners and retailers which raised $704,215 to support initiatives to increase glass recycling. This includes:-

$248,212 allocated to community and recycling groups to assist with glass recovery;
$135,000 allocated to consumer awareness initiatives including promoting recycling at the Classic Hits Winery Tour; Auckland’s Lantern Festival; Tauranga’s National Jazz Festival ; Waikato’s Splore Festival and the nationwide Smokefree Rockquest; and
$63,140 allocated to projects which recovered 10726 tonnes of glass.

”66.4% glass was recycled either into new glass containers or used in other applications here in New Zealand. That’s equivalent to around 626 million glass containers. Whilst we recorded a slightly lower rate than in 2011, we have not included a significant amount of glass collected during the year which is being held for future use as aggregate.

“As glass recovery increases, it is important that we retain our focus on increasing the amount of glass recycled into high value reuses and this has increased by 15% over last year reflecting a major contribution by glass manufacturer OI-NZ.

“With many industry associations noting a decline in membership the Forum has again increased its membership with a net gain of 8 companies.

“As a result of our management of the Love NZ public place recycling initiative, we have signed formal agreements with 26 local authorities representing 80% ratepayers and more importantly built real partnerships.
“The glass recycling rate is affected by the choices consumers make at home and in public places; the availability of recycling facilities; and how glass is processed during collection and processing. I believe the Forum is leading industry into a new paradigm of cooperation with the public sector. Our strategy has always been to build strong relationships with councils and Government so that industry is seen as part of the solution not the source of the problem. We believe waste reduction should be addressed at ‘best cost’ and that the results show that our voluntary product stewardship scheme is the right approach.

“In Auckland we have worked closely with Auckland Council to understand the issues facing them in terms of waste management and why they make the choices they do. It is easy for industry and councils to take polarised views as to who should pay for recycling. In reality the consumer whether as a ratepayer or as a shopper pays but if we want to increase recycling without incurring huge costs, we have to move beyond industry taking the view that recycling should be funded through rates and councils seeking to reduce their rates bill by pushing the burden onto industry. The voluntary approach taken by the glass industry shows what can be achieved through collaboration. ”

The Forum also released research conducted by Horizon Research in July which provides the following insights into glass packaging use, recycling and reuse:-

• The weekly use of glass containers has increased slightly (67.5% using 1 to 5 containers per week, 64% in 2011 and 2010).
• A third of New Zealanders rate their recycling efforts as excellent at home, work and in public
• Recycling of glass containers at the kerbside outside home remains constant at 84.4% (83.7% in 2011 up from 73.2% in 2010); recycling glass containers at work remains constant at 11% as does using community or school drop off centres at 11.3% (10.3% in 2010)
• Collection of glass containers in wheelie bins with other items for recycling has increased slightly to 47.1% (45.4% in 2011 and 38% in 2010), while glass collected separately in a crate has fallen slightly from 25.8% to 24.3%
• 62.9% are reusing glass bottles and jars, 53% plastic water bottles and 39.8% specially designed refillable drinks/sports bottles. Only 13% are not refilling or reusing containers.
• 72.7% think the glass they put out for recycling is melted down and used to make new glass containers, 36.1% think it goes to make aggregate for roading, 15.6% washed and used again.

For informationFor information

The Glass Packaging Forum operates one of the first voluntary product stewardship schemes which has been accredited by the Minister for the Environment as meeting the criteria set out in the Waste Minimisation Act (2008). The scheme currently covers over 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. In addition The Glass Packaging Forum manages the Love NZ public place recycling programme which is part funded by the Waste Minimisation Fund and sets out targets to recycle paper, plastic, cans and glass packaging consumed in public places.

Horizon Research surveyed 1,825 respondents nationwide between 18 and 29 July,, 2012.
Respondents are members of the HorizonPoll online panel, recruited to match the New Zealand population aged 18+.

The survey is weighted by age, gender, ethnicity, personal income, region, employment status and party vote 2008 to provide a representative sample of the New Zealand population. At a confidence level of 95%, the maximum margin of error is +/- 2.3%.

Results were compared with a similar survey conducted in July 2011.

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