Inaugural glass recycling summit addresses glass recycling aims


British Glass, the representative body for the UK glass sector, held the first UK Glass Recycling Summit yesterday (17 March) with attendance from across the glass supply chain. 

The event saw the UK glass packaging industry launch its commitment to achieving a 90% collected for recycling rate by 2030. This target underpins the industry’s ambition to drive up glass recycling rates and increase the recycled content in glass packaging. The UK is already achieving a 76.5% collection rate from households and this event was the launch pad to driving collaboration across the entire glass supply chain, from recyclers, manufactures, local government, brands and retailers to close the glass loop and build on the circularity of glass. 

The summit saw attendees agreeing to collaborate with British Glass on their journey to achieving a 90% glass collected for recycling target by 2030. 

Joined by Chairman of the Environment Audit Committee, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP outlined the ongoing inquiry into the proposed Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for England, that will scrutinise government strategy, policy and objectives in this area. 

Rt hon Philip Dunne commented:

“We thank British glass for submitting written evidence to the committee and we were so impressed with the quality we have invited Dr Nick Kirk to present oral evidence at the first two panels.”

Attendees were also treated to a video address from Rebecca Pow MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who thanked the glass industry for their continued engagement with Government on issues surrounding DRS.

Andy Rees, Head of Waste Strategy at the Welsh Government also gave an insight into the Welsh recycling success before a panel discussion and breakout sessions covered barriers to achieving the 90% collection target, improvements that need to be made across the supply chain and priorities to move UK recycling forward over the next 12 months. 

Members of the panel included Claire Shrewsbury, Acting Director, insights and innovation at WRAP, Dr Adam Read, Director of external affairs for Suez, Paul Vanston, Chief Executive the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), David Gell, Lead on DRS at DEFRA and Niall Walker, Packaging Sustainability Manager at Diageo.

The six breakout sessions, facilitated by the British Glass team, identified communication to all stakeholders and consistency and collaboration, particularly with big brands, as key priorities for the next 12 months. 

British Glass hears these calls for collaboration and will digest the information from the event into a plan to move toward the 90% target.

Dave Dalton, CEO, British Glass said:

“We’re delighted to have so many attendees join us from across the whole glass supply chain. 

“We hope to build on the discussions from today by starting the right conversations and formulate a plan of action for the next 12 months. So, when we gather in a year’s time, we can demonstrate and celebrate achievements towards our goal.”