Position Papers

Heavy Metal Limits

British Glass represents the UK Glass Industry and related suppliers across various sectors, including container, flat, glass, domestic, crystal and scientific.

DEROGATION1 FOR CONTAINER GLASS FROM THE HEAVY METALS LIMITS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE 11 OF THE PACKAGING WASTE DIRECTIVE 94/62/EC

British Glass recognises the need to remove heavy metals from the workplace wherever this is possible in order to facilitate health or environmental improvements.

It is the opinion of British Glass that the current non-time-limited derogation provides the most appropriate solution to the requirements of the regulations covering heavy metals with respect to glass containers.

During the discussions in the Article 21 Committee it was established that container glass does not release heavy metals into the environment (as described in Annex II of the Directive) even at concentration levels of above 1000 ppm.

Because of the proven high durability of glass and retention of all chemical elements, glass encapsulation of toxic and radioactive waste is a ‘Best Available Technology’ solution for the disposal of such difficult wastes.

Notes:
1. Commission Decisions 2001/171/EC & 2006/340/EC and SI 2006 No 1492
2. Decorating materials are not covered by the derogation; they are deemed an intentional addition.

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Many glass making terms have entered the language: 'Shut yer gob': a molten lump of glass is called a 'gob' to which the glass blower attached a tube to blow the glass into shape. The blower had to blow hard which made his cheeks very large. Today someone with a big mouth is told they have a big gob.


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