Scottish brokerage service announces glass recycling deals

Scottish brokerage service announces glass recycling deals
Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead speaking at this week's Scottish Resources Conference
A Scottish brokerage service for cooperative waste and recycling contracts has announced plans for its first contracts, all of which establish long-term deals for glass recycling.

The Scottish Materials Brokerage Service is a partnership between the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) and Scottish Procurement, and is sponsored by the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead announced in October 2014 that the service would be established to ‘help the public sector to get a better deal for the recycled materials collected from their communities’ and to simulate investment in the reprocessing of recyclable materials.

Today (7 October), the brokerage service has notified the market of a number of contracts that will deal with separately-collected glass, including contracts for mixed glass as well as colour-separated glass.

The contracts are expected to have durations of between seven and 10 years and will commence in July 2016. As part of the brokerage service, international suppliers are being contacted to promote the contracts.

In the coming months, ZWS says that contracts are expected to be issued for dry mixed recycling and residual waste treatment, as well as other single-stream recyclables including cans and plastic bottles.

Service a ‘vital part of delivering circular economy ambitions’

Commenting on the contracts, Richard Lochhead said: “High-quality recycling is a key element of delivering our ambitions for a circular economy in Scotland and our unique brokerage service is a vital part of achieving that. By working together with councils we can help to develop markets for recycled materials here in Scotland.

“Glass recycling is a natural starting point for this service. It provides Scotland with a great opportunity to create jobs in the circular economy, by supplying recycled glass back into packaging for our iconic Scotch whisky industry, as well as to other innovative Scottish companies."

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of ZWS, added: “ZWS provides technical advice to the brokerage service, and we have advised on procurement options for glass. Glass has properties that make it an ideal focus for high-quality recycling in Scotland, as it can be indefinitely recycled without significant loss of quality, as well as supporting indigenous industries here in Scotland. 

“This is an important step forward and the first of a number of contracts through the brokerage service that will support Scotland’s ambitions for a circular economy.”

Wales considering similar brokerage service

Wales is considering following Scotland down the path of brokering contracts on behalf of its 22 local authorities.

Speaking to Resource in January, Welsh Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said that councils must start looking at the opportunities to profit from recyclate and get value from the materials being collected. He asked: “How do we maximise on the sale element? Rather than the market driven for 22 local authorities, what is it that we can do together to maximise the benefit?”

Though he said that whether the Welsh Government would establish an official brokerage service remains to be seen, he emphasised that there are “huge opportunities there”.

Read more about the Scottish Materials Brokerage Service.

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