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British Glass

British Glass is the trade association for the UK glass industry. It represents all 5 sectors of the glass industry including:

  • flat glass (windows, windscreens etc)
  • container glass (bottles and jars)
  • domestic glass (drinking glasses, crystal glass etc)
  • fibre glass (insulation)
  • scientific glass (laboratory-ware etc).

One of the main jobs of British Glass is to look at issues relating to the environment. One of its most important tasks is the promotion of glass recycling on behalf of the container glass companies. Much work has been done in this area and results are starting to show an improvement in the amount of glass being recycled.

An average glass bottle contains around 25% recycled glass, and green glass bottles manufactured in this country contain at least 60% and sometimes as much as 90% recycled glass.

In 1998 a total of 480,000 tonnes of glass was recycled in the UK. This amount was made possible by the use of local bottle banks and recycled glass collection services set up throughout the country. 

These bottle banks first appeared in the UK in 1977 and since then their numbers have grown dramatically.  In 1986 the government challenged the glass industry to double the number of bottle bank sites from 2,500 to 5,000 within 5 years - this was achieved a year early. In 1990 the challenge rose to 10,000 by 1995. The industry then set itself the goal of 20,000 bottle bank sites as soon as possible, and this has now been achieved.

The most recent challenge set by the government is for the packaging industry to recover 50% of packaging waste by the year 2001. British Glass has worked with the government and industry groups to work out ways of achieving this target and is confident that the challenge will be met.

British Glass understands the importance of educating the community about the benefits of glass recycling and has created a whole range of literature that is distributed free of charge.  This includes leaflets, posters, badges, balloons, statistics and a 10-point glass recycling code. The leaflets set out why it is important to recycle glass and is suitable for school children of all ages.

For more information about British Glass contact:

British Glass
Northumberland Road
Sheffield S10 2UA

Tel: 0114 290 1806
Fax: 0114 268 1073

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