15 September 2008 - The Glass Packaging Forum reports that glass recovery is up to 62% from 53% in the previous year. This represents a spectacular increase of an additional 28955 tonnes of glass recovered and exceeds a full year ahead of schedule the 55% recycling rate which industry agreed as part of its five year voluntary commitment under the Packaging Accord.
New Zealand's glass recovery rate puts it ahead of Europe which is striving for a 60% recycling target by the end of 2008 and Australia which aims for 60% by 2010.
John Webber General Manager of the Glass Packaging Forum said that the huge increase reflects a major hike in the utilization of surplus waste glass as aggregates for a variety of uses:-
"This has in part been stimulated by the Forum's introduction of a mobile glass crusher which has often acted as a catalyst for major contracting companies which are providing similar localized glass crushing services and processing significant tonnages. The Forum acknowledges the contribution by these enterprises. Export markets have also almost doubled in the past year as the price for cullet increases."
"We are also starting to see the benefits of an education programme fronted by iconic rap artist Che Fu which will form a key part of our ongoing schools initiative."
"This recycling achievement clearly demonstrates that when industry commits to a voluntary product stewardship programme, it takes its responsibilities very seriously and when supported by other parties, significant gains can be made. As a forum, our objective is to ensure the best cost product stewardship solution for glass packaging. Whilst we continue to hear calls for container deposit legislation from some politicians and lobby groups, today's statistics are all the evidence needed to show that our existing kerbside collection system is delivering excellent returns."
'Whilst the Waste Bill has consumed much time during its long political passage through Parliament, we have quite simply been getting on with the job. We hold up our voluntary levy programme which has committed $0.5 million to fund research, operations and education in the past 12 months as an example of how voluntary programmes deliver results. Voluntary schemes are winners because industry is part of the solution rather than being sent a demand to pay additional taxes and compliance costs."
The Glass Packaging Forum will be addressed by Tony Nowell Chair of the Packaging Accord and learn about the important education role of music and dance from musician Che Fu at its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 17th September.
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