British Glass urges local authorities to keep glass recycling in UK, citing 31% increase in glass cullet export to mainland Europe as detrimental to environment, economy; local recycling local would support reduce carbon emissions, create more UK jobs

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SHEFFIELD, England , August 25, 2023 (press release) –

The amount of cullet being exported from the UK to mainland Europe is increasing year-on-year; we want to make sure that we keep as much recyclable glass here in the UK as possible as we move towards a closed-loop economy for glass.

British Glass, the representative body for the UK glass industry, has released a new infographic on the importance of keeping glass recycling local. The document highlights the benefits of a circular economy for glass within the UK, which can be recycled, remelted down, and remoulded infinitely without ever reducing its quality.

Currently, a significant amount of waste glass is exported from the UK to mainland Europe, which has negative impacts on the environment and economy. The export of glass cullet rose by 79,000 tonnes last year – a 31% increase compared to 2021. By keeping glass recycling local, we can decrease the use of non-renewable resources, reduce carbon emissions, and open opportunities for local companies to market their participation in the circular economy.

The infographic also provides a list of reprocessors in the UK who provide glass recycling services and calls on local authorities to consider the destination of collected waste glass to support the UK circular economy and industry decarbonisation efforts. The glass industry contributes around £1.6bn to the UK economy each year, providing 24,000 direct jobs and more than 150,000 jobs across the whole supply chain.

"We urge local authorities to support the UK circular economy for glass and decarbonisation efforts by keeping glass recycling local," said Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass. "One of the great advantages of glass is it’s infinite recyclability without losing quality, which we should be taking advantage of within a closed loop as best we can. By doing so, we can make a positive impact on the environment and economy, and create more jobs in the UK glass industry."

To view the full infographic, please see the PDF below.

For more information on glass recycling and the circular economy, please visit the British Glass recycling page.

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Jason Irving
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