Glass mountain grows through market distortion

22 January 2009

Glass mountain grows through market distortion

Following the milk lake and the butter mountain, we are now seeing the glass mountain. British glass is being dumped on the Dutch market and processed at the expense of Dutch products. "Transporting waste for recycling over long distances can't be good for the environment," says SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer.

Front runner

The Netherlands has an impressive record when it comes to the collection and recycling of glass. Nine out of ten bottles and jars are returned for recycling, often separated by colour so that they can be made into new containers. But according to a number of newspapers, including the regional daily Het Dagblad van het Noorden, which interviewed one Mr. Ruis, a spokesman for the glass manufacturer Maltha, 80,000 cubic metres of glass awaits reprocessing, an emergency, according to Ruis.


"I brought this problem to the attention of the European Commission as long ago as 2000," says Meijer. "At that time it was Germany which was distorting our market for reusable glass. If, as is the case now in Britain, there is a sudden upsurge in the quantity of glass collected for recycling, then it's up to the country in question to ensure that this can be done at or close to home. I have now once again tabled questions to the Commission asking them what measures they are considering in order to ensure that returned glass products are distributed more efficiently."

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