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House Clearance Salford – Green Glass
British Glass, the trade body representing the UK glass industry, is calling on retailers to cut imports of wine in green bottles. They argue that the excess of imported green glass in the recycling chain is threatening glass recycling in the UK, and that if bottles were changed from green to amber or clear, wine sales would not be affected and the environment would benefit.
The controversial ‘green glass mountain’ has been caused by the limited demand for green cullet in the UK, as the majority of glass containers made here are clear. More than 550,000 tonnes of green glass are imported filled into the UK each year, compared to the 250,000 tonnes of green glass manufactured in this country.
House Clearance Salford notes that if retailers specified clear or amber glass for their wine imports, the green cullet glut would be reduced, and more amber and clear glass would enter the recycling chain, cutting energy and raw material use. The amount of used glass sent to landfill would also be cut.
British Glass argue that retailers could reap marketing advantages by adopting and promoting it as a positive environmental measure. To this end, it has distributed a campaign leaflet entitled ‘Stop on Green’ to all major UK wine retailers, and is lobbying the Government for support.
The trade group believes that such a switch could be made as consumers are already used to buying wine in clear and amber bottles, and that mainstream big volume wines would be ideally suited to the colour change. However even if UK retailers adopted this policy, it is questionable whether the many thousands of vineyards worldwide would be prepared to make the change, and the glass bottle manufacturing structure in major wine producing countries is geared up almost completely to green glass production, as are most of such countries’ domestic glass recycling schemes.
Under the Packaging Waste regulations, all members of the packaging chain have a shared responsibility for recovering and recycling a percentage of the packaging they handle each year. This increases the pressure on retailers to consider the implications of the packaging they choose.