Select Committee on Trade and Industry Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 8

Memorandum by Pilkington plc

INQUIRY INTO THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE END OF LIFE VEHICLES DIRECTIVE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UK GLASS INDUSTRY

SUMMARY

  In the UK, each year, it has been estimated that between 1.5(1) and 1.8 (2) million cars and light commercial vehicles reach the end of their useful lives. This could theoretically yield between 45,000-54,000 tonnes of waste glass, which may be considered a potential raw material. Glass from vehicles in the UK will have been produced by a number of manufacturers, in many locations around the world, including the Far East. Pilkington is the only glass manufacturer producing car and light vehicle glazing in the UK. On average only 37 per cent of the UK vehicle fleet contains glass supplied by Pilkington. Of that 37 per cent only half will have been manufactured in the UK This potential raw material feedstock will have to compete with virgin raw materials (approximately £35/tonne) and existing cullet (£30/tonne).

  The calculated costs of producing End of Life Vehicles (ELV's) cullet based on infrastructure currently available in the UK would be £215-£233/tonne. This puts this recovered glass completely out of the feedstock material market.

  It should be emphasised that this is a minimum cost and in practice further processing would be required to yield a cullet of suitable quality for use in any glass making operation.

  Even if ELV cullet were used, any failure in the infrastructure (present or future) would lead to quality issues resulting in severe financial penalties for the glassmaker and significant adverse environmental impact. Losing, typically three to seven days production on a float glass plant due to quality failure would lead to a loss in the region of £300,000-£700,000. Severe environmental impacts would result from the generation of a waste glass stream from the production of contaiminated glass (approximately 400-500 tonnes/day), increased energy consumption and the use of more virgin raw materials to produce the replacement glass. These considerations lead us to conclude that the risk associated with the use of such material for flat glass manufacture will remain too high in the foreseeable future. We can see no evidence that the necessary improvements in the infrastructure in the UK will be made in the next few years, thus alternative uses for the cullet are likely to be required if we are to avoid the continued reliance on landfill.

  From our study and analysis, the most economical and secure process today is to recycle ELV glass into the aggregate stream in the UK. The calculated cost of producing this aggregate stream based on the currently available infrastructure in the UK would be £27/toone. The rates for aggregates can be highly variable, depending on the local conditions of supply and demand at any given time. Based on rates in a standard price handbook, pipe bedding material might fetch a price of from £5 to £7.50 per tonne. General granular fill will generally only command a price about half that for pipe bedding. (Private communication: Transport Research Laboratory (TRL Ltd) April 2001). However, further processing will still be required in order to guarantee production of an aggregate, to be suitable as pipe-bedding or as class 1B uniformly graded general fill. This may involve the use of a further dense media separating step, which would entail a significant additional investment.

  The calculated costs to produce the cullet and aggregate streams are summarised below Fig. 1

  Based on these costs it is evident that it would require a considerable economic or legislative driver to make this process cost effective. Pilkington supports the view that some form of up front payment levied at the time of original purchase may be the most appropriate mechanism following the example of the system operated in the Netherlands. In the context of glass alone, it remains somewhat unclear how much of the glass recovered from ELV's under the current arrangements in the Netherlands is recycled as glass product.


1.  INTRODUCTION

  1.1  The End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive (2000/53/EC) came into force on 21st October 2000. This directive sets about to minimise the impact of end of life vehicles on the environment by the attachment of targets for reuse, recycling and recover.

  1.2  The material composition of a typical Europen Car is shown in Table 1.

Table 1

COMPOSITION OF A TYPICAL 1990 EUROPEAN CAR (DATA SOURCE ACORD)


Material
Typical Mass
(kg)
Per cent by
Mass

Steel
478
53
Cast Iron
72
8
Non-ferrous metal
86
9.5
Plastics
104
11.5
Glass
27
3
Rubber
45
5
Other non-metals
90
10
Total
902
100


  1.3  In the UK, each year, it has been estimated that between 1.5(1) and 18(2) million cars and light commercial vehicles reach the end of their useful lives. These ELVs are generally sold by the last owner to a vehicle dismantler who will recover those parts suitable for resale (Note: this usually only occurs on vehicles under five years old. Private communication: Delmo salvage brokers, Wigan). The dismantler in turn sells the remaining hulk to a shredder who will recover the metallic fractions for recycling.

  1.4  Together, parts for re-use and metal recycling are currently estimated to account for 75 per cent(2) of the vehicle by mass. The remaining fraction, shredder residue consists of rubber, glass plastics foam, fabrics, dirt etc and is consigned to a landfill for final disposal.

  1.5  The targets set out by the directive are given below in table 2. The burden to meet these targets will inevitably fall in part upon the glass component.

Table 2

RE-USE, RECOVERY AND RECYCLING TARGETS


  
Re-use and Recovery
Re-use and Recycling

No later than
1 January 2006
85 per cent (for vehicles produced after 1.1.80)
75 per cent (for vehicles produced before 1.1.80)
80 per cent (for vehicles produced before 1.1.80)
70 per cent (for vehicles produced before 1.1.80)

No later than
1 January 2015
95 per cent (for all ELV's)
85 per cent (for all ELV's)


  1.6  The glass industry (manufacturers, fitter/installers and reprocessors/recyclers) all have an obligation under Article 7 of the Directive—re-use and recovery.

  1.7  Pilkington plc in co-operation with British Glass has been studying the economic and environmental impact the Directive would have on the UK glass industry.

2.  UK GLASS PRODUCTION

  2.1  Around 2.8 million tonnes of glass are manufactured each year in the UK(3). Of this approximately:

    —  68 per cent is used in the manufacture of bottles and jars

    —  25.2 per cent in flat glass (eg windows, mirrors, automotive applications)

    —  1.6 per cent as tableware

    —  4.8 per cent as fibreglass

    —  0.2 per cent in crystal glass and

    —  0.2 per cent in scientific and technical

3.  GLASS TYPES

  3.1  There is more than one type of glass, and each differs in composition according to its required function. These include:

    —  Soda—lime—silica glass (eg bottles, jars and flat glass)

    —  Lead—alkali glass (eg crystal glassware and television screens)

    —  Borosilicate glass (eg glass-fibres, ovenware)

    —  Specialised small volume technical glasses (eg glass ceramics, optical)

  3.2  The most common glass is the soda—lime—silica glass and is made up of:

—  Silica72-73 per cent
—  Sodium Oxide13-14 per cent
—  Calcium Oxide8-9 per cent
—  Magnesium Oxide4-5 per cent
—  Aluminium Oxide0.3-1.5 per cent


4.  FLAT GLASS PRODUCTION

  4.1  Flat glass (including automotive) is made by the float glass process which first appeared commercially in 1959 and superseded all other methods due to superior quality, performance and reduced environmental impact. A Float glass furnace can produce up to 6,000 tonnes of glass per week.

  4.2  In the UK there are currently four float lines. Three owned by Pilkington and one by St Gobain.

  There are five stages in the float manufacturing process:

4.3  STAGE 1: MELTING AND REFINING

  Fine-grained ingredients, closely controlled for quality, are mixed to make "batch", which flows as a blanket on to molten glass at 1,500ºC in the melter.

  Today the float process makes glass of near optical quality. Several processes—melting, refining and homogenising—take place simultaneously in the 2,000 tonnes of molten glass contained in the furnace. They occur in separate zones in a complex glass flow driven by high temperatures. It adds up to a continuous melting process, lasting as long as 50 hours, that delivers glass at 1,100ºC, free from inclusions and bubbles, smoothly and continuously to the float bath. The melting process is key to glass quality; and compositions can be modified to change the properties of the finished product.

4.4  STAGE 2: FLOAT BATH

  Glass from the melter flows gently over a refractory spout on to the mirror-like surface of molten tin, starting at 1,100ºC and leaving the float bath as a solid ribbon at 600ºC.

  The principle of float glass is unchanged from the 1950s. But the product has changed dramatically: from a single equilibrium thickness of 6.8mm to a range from sub-millimetre to 25mm; from a ribbon frequently marred by inclusions, bubbles and striations to almost optical perfection. Float delivers what is known as fire finish, the lustre of new chinaware. At this stage, on some float lines, the glass may pass through an on-line coating process.

4.5  STAGE 3: ANNEALING

  Despite the tranquillity with which float glass is formed, considerable stresses are developed in the ribbon as it cools.

  Too much stress and the glass will break beneath the cutter. To relieve stresses the ribbon undergoes heat-treatment in a long furnace known as lehr. Temperatures are closely controlled both along and across the ribbon. Pilkington has developed technology, which automatically feeds back stress levels in the glass to control the temperatures in the lehr.

4.6  STAGE 4: INSPECTION

  The float process is renowned for making perfectly flat, flaw-free glass. But to ensure the highest quality, inspection takes place at every stage.

  Occasionally a bubble is not removed during refining, a sand grain refuses to melt, a tremor in the tin puts ripples into the glass ribbon. Automated on-line inspection does two things. It reveals process faults upstream that can be corrected. And it enables computers downstream to steer cutters round flaws. Flaws imply wastage, while customers press constantly for greater perfection. Inspection technology now allows more than 100 million measurements a second to be made across the ribbon, locating flaws the unaided eye would be unable to see. The data drives "intelligent" cutters, further improving product quality to the customer.

4.7  STAGE 5: CUTTING TO ORDER

  Diamond wheels trim off selvedge—stressed edges—and cut the ribbon to size dictated by computer. These off-cuts of glass are recycled back into the batch material (internal cullet). Float glass is sold by the square meter. Computers translate customers' requirements into patterns of cuts designed to minimise wastage. Pilkington has developed electronic systems to integrate the operation of manufacturing plants with the order book.

5.  QUALITY OF FLOAT GLASS COMPARED TO OTHER GLASS PRODUCTS

  5.1  Float glass quality, in terms of bubble and inclusion faults, is much higher than other glass products. A quality triangle for a number of glass products has been calculated using the available bubble data (bubble quality relative to Float=1) and is shown in Figure 2. The number and size of the bubbles in relation to the article size were taken into consideration.

  5.2  The information for this study was obtained from:

  Pilkington plc (Float and Rolled Plate Quality)

  British Glass (Container Quality)

  In the fibreglass industry bubble quality data is not measured. The figures shown here for fibreglass were collected from a specially commissioned bubble survey in 1970.

Figure 2

COMPARISON OF QUALITY IN VARIOUS GLASS PRODUCTS


6.  QUALITY OF RAW MATERIALS

  6.1  Pilkington lay great emphasis on the need to have good quality raw materials (ie sand, soda, ash, dolomite etc( to make high quality float glass. These systems have been formalised and tightened in recent years using ISO9000 methodology.

  6.2  Careful control of raw materials at the input stage reduces the amount of waste product (rejected glass), helps minimise potentially polluting emissions and reduces energy consumption (energy required to make replacement glass). This is consistent with an integrated pollution control strategy.

  6.3  These materials are mixed with high quality cullet (the industry's term for used glass) to form a batch which is melted to produce glass.

  6.4  It is important to recognise that cullet is a critically important glassmaking raw material which:

    —  Allows a higher maximum load

    —  Has a beneficial effect on quality (linked to load)

    —  Reduces the melting energy requirements

    —  Reduces batch carryover levels

    —  Reduces atmospheric pollution

    —  Reduce batch costs

  6.5  The float plants in the UK are approximately 20 percent of cullet in their batch. This is internally produced cullet from the manufacturing line itself. No external cullet (used glass from outside the factory gate) is currently used on any of the three Pilkington float lines in the UK.

  6.6  In the production of patterned glass from Pilkington's rolled plate factory, where the optical quality is not of such critical importance, external cullet is used. However, it must be stressed that the critical feature of this external cullet is that it arises from known sources with extremely low contamination levels and an acceptable cost benefit. These cullet sources are strictly controlled using specifications, auditing and ISO 9000 systems.

  6.7  The float glass manufacturing process is extremely sensitive to very low levels of contamination. This is highlighted by comparing the cullet specifications for Float, Container and Fibreglass for the maximum permissible levels of the major contamination types usually found in cullet. Table 3.

  6.8  The cullet specification information for containers was obtained from the Environmental Technology Best Practice Programme report Improving cullet quality (GG83). The fibreglass cullet specification was obtained from Owens Corning.

Table 3

MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE LEVELS OF THE MAJOR CONTAMINATION TYPES USUALLY FOUND IN CULLET


Contamination types
Cullet for Float
Max permissible
(g/t)
Cullet for Fibreglass
Max permissible
(g/t)
Cullet for Containers
Max permissible
(g/t)

Ferrous metals
Particles >0.5g: none
Particles <0.5: 2
65
50
Non-ferrous metals
Particles >0.1g: none
Particles <0.1g: 0.5
24
20
Refractory materials
No particles >0.2mm
250
20
Organic substances
Particles >2g: none
Particles <2g: 45
120
3000

7.  PROBLEMS IN RECYCLING GLASS

  7.1  The main problem with external cullet is contamination. The two tables below highlight the main problem areas associated with using external cullet and the risk to float glass quality if it is not controlled.

Table 4

MAIN PROBLEM AREAS ASSOCIATED WITH CULLET


AreaRisk to float quality if not controlled

Cullets from glass of different compositions (different chemical makeup) eg glass from competitors (Saint Gobain, Glaverbel, PPG and NSG), bottled glass and glass fromfrom tableware Ream in the glass which apears as distortion.
Note: Ream is simply a region of glass within the product, which has a composition different from the average.
Clear and tinted glass ie Iron levelGlass colour & Solar control properties
Contamination issues (metal attachments, adhesives wire, laminates, general dirt, in the future laminated side glazings) Inclusions, bubbles, ream knots colour variation


Table 5

CONTAMINATION EXAMPLES


TypeEffect

AluminiumSilicon inclusions and major bubble outbreak
Stainless steel (nickel containing steels) Nickel sulphide—bursting in toughened glass (problem down at 50 microns)
Refractory particles
Examples include:
       Chromite >0.2mm
       Corundum >0.5mm
Inclusions
(small particles not detectable)
Silicon CarbideMajor bubble outbreak

Carbon
Affect melting and foam causing inclusions and bubble


  7.2  The contamination issues listed above in table 5 could potentially lead to losing typically three to seven days flat glass production due to quality failure. This would entail a loss of typically £300,000 to £700,000.

  7.3  This would also lead to severe environmental impacts. The contaminated glass may not be able to be recycled resulting in the generation of a waste product (approximately 400-500 tonnes/day). Increased energy consumption would be required to produce the replacement glass coupled with use of more virgin raw materials.

  7.4  No quality data on the potential cullet stream from dismantlers has been published. To rectify this a recent trial to evaluate a cullet stream from a typically dismantlers was undertaken. Examples of the cullet collected can be seen in the following photographs (figure 3 and 4).[1]

  7.5  Each photograph shows a large degree of contamination from other glass types, wood, plastic, paper, metal and general dirt. Clearly any attempt to use cullet of this quality would result in loss of glass due to quality failure with the corresponding costs and environmental implications.

  It is clearly evident that a change in culture is required to obtain better segregation.

8.  QUANTITIES OF EXTERNAL CULLET

  8.1  In 1998, the amount of container glass recovered for recycling was 476,000 tonnes(4). With estimated UK ELV arisings of approximately 1.5-1.8 million, the 45,000—54,000 tonnes/year of cullet theoretically available would be a relatively small amount, in relation to the UK's overall glass waste stream.

  8.2  ELV cullet will have to compete not only with virgin raw materials and cullet from other sources. With virgin raw material prices at about £35/tonne, cullet prices below £30/tonne and Packaging Recovery notes (PRN's proof of compliance with packaging waste regulations) for glass retailing at about £24/tonne. The financial assessment of ELV-glass recovery is essential.

9.  FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT OF PRODUCING ELV CULLET

  9.1  Pilkington in conjunction with British Glass have undertaken a financial assessment of producing ELV cullet in the UK, in accordance with The End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive (2000/53/EC). Using the currently available infrastructure, the assessment compared two possible routes as follows:

    Route One  The glass is removed from the vehicle at the dismantlers. The sidelights, windscreens and backlights are segregated and processed separately. Ideally through a cullet processor to produce a product that can be used in a glass specific application.

    Route Two  The glass is left in the vehicle and processed through a shredder. The glass then forms part of the product streams coming from the dense media processing (this employs fluids or mineral suspensions of varying gravity that allow selected materials to float while others sink. Thus a succession of different media separation stages can effectively separate materials from one another). The glass would then find a use either directly as part of such a product stream, or after additional processing.

  9.2  In order to allow systematic analysis of the two routes a process diagram has been developed that is capable of showing both routes. This allows analysis of the impact of all stages of the two routes, both where they overlap and where they differ. Such a diagram also shows the current situation where the glass is processed through the shredder and the dense media separator, and ultimately finishes in the waste going to landfill.

  9.3  The process diagram is shown in figure 5. The various processes in the possible routes are numbered P1 to P7, and the possible outputs O1 to O3. The transport links between the possible links are numbered T1 to T11. This terminology is used throughout this study.

Figure 5


  9.4  The relative costs of transporting and processing ELV glass were reviewed. Details of the model and assumptions, are given in Appendix 1 and 1b.

  The objective was to compare the financial implications of the various options that might arise depending upon how the Directive was implemented in the UK and indicate the economic implications.

  9.5  Within each main route there were subsequent potential pathways.

    a.  Glass returned for use in glassmaking (Route 1)

    b.  Glass sent to Landfill (Route 1)

    c.  Dismantled Glass used as an aggregate (Route 1)

    d.  Cost of the existing shredder and DMSP product (Route 2)

a.  Glass Returned for use in glassmaking (Route 1)


TRANSPORT COSTS


T1
T1*
T8
T11
T10

Costs/1000 ELV
£13.49
£187.08
£486
£378
£7.90
Cost/tonne of glass
£0.50
£6.93
£18
£14
£0.28

(T1 and T1* information from two sources see appendix 1)

Total Transport cost/tonne of glass = T1 + T8 + T11 + T10 = £32.78

Total Transport cost/tonne of glass = T1* + T8 + T11 + T10 = £39.21

PROCESS COSTS


P1
P1*
P5

Costs/1000 ELV
£5,125
£4,800
£124.2
Cost/tonne of glass
£189.81
£177.78
£4.60

(P1 and P1* information from two sources see appendix 1)

Total process cost/tonne of glass = P1 + P5 = £193.6

Total process cost/tonne of glass = P1* + P5 = £182.4


Total Cost of Producing Cullet = £215-£233/tonne

b.  Glass sent to Landfill (Route 1)


TRANSPORT COSTS


T1
T1*

Costs/1000 ELV
£13.49
£187.08
Cost/tonne of glass
£0.50
£6.93

(T1 and T1* information from two sources see appendix 1)

Total Transport cost/tonne of glass = T1 = £0.50

Total Transport cost/tonne of glass = T1* = £6.93

PROCESS COSTS

P1
P1*
£5,125
£4,800
Cost/tonne of glass
£189.81
£177.78

P1 and P1* information from two sources see appendix 1)

Total process cost/tonne of glass = P1 = £189.81

Total process cost/tonne of glass = P1* = £177.78

Total Cost of Producing Cullet = £178—£196/tonne

c.  Dismantled Glass used as an aggregated (Route 1)



Total Cost of Producing Cullet = £213-£231/tonne

d.  Cost of the existing shredder and DMSP product (Route 2)



Total Cost of Producing Aggregate = £26.57/tonne

  9.6  What is immediately striking is the influence of labour costs on the handling of glass when it is removed from the vehicle and treated separately (Route 1).

  9.7  The assessment concluded that the cost of producing ELV cullet for use in glass making would be between £215—£233/tonne. This is based on current practices of cullet processing and it is suspected that further processing would be required to yield a cullet of suitable quality for use in any glass making operation. Thus the price of at least £215-£233 per tonne puts this recovered glass completely out of the feedstock material market. Compared with virgin raw material prices at about £35/tonne, cullet prices below £30/tonne and Packaging Recovery notes (PRNs, proof of compliance with packaging waste regulations) for glass retailing at about £24/tonne. Taken in concert with the risk involved in losing, say, typically 3 to 7 day's flat glass production due to a quality failure would add £300,000 to £700,000's to the price. The environmental cost would include the generation of a cullet waste stream of rejected glass (approximately 400—500 tonnes/day). Increased energy consumption would be required to produce the replacement glass coupled with use of more virgin raw materials.

  9.8  Glasphalt, developed by RMC, is an asphalt roadbase or basecourse mix utilising up to 30 per cent cullet. The development of Glasphalt is able to provide an effective route for large quantities of cullet of any colour to be recycled. However, based on The British Glass model the cost of producing ELV cullet for this process would be between £213—£231/tonne. Again the quality of this glass stream would have to be assessed to see if it were suitable for this process. It would require a considerable economic or legislative driver to make it cost effective.

  9.9  The most economical process, at £26.57/tonne, is clearly route two where the glass is left in the car and processed through a shredder. The glass forms part of an aggregate stream coming from the dense media process.

  9.10  However, laboratory tests on this material by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL Ltd) has found that it is not currently suitable for use as pipe-bedding or as a class 1B uniformly graded general fill.

10.  SUMMARY

  10.1  In the UK, each year, it has been estimated that between 1.5(1) and 1.8(2)million cars and light commercial vehicles reach the end of their useful lives. This could theoretically yield 45,000—54,000 tonnes of cullet.

  10.2  This potential raw material feedstock will have to compete with virgin raw materials (approximately £35/tonne), existing cullet (£30/tonne).

  10.3  The calculated costs of producing ELV cullet based on the currently available infrastructure would be £215—£233/tonne. This puts this recovered glass completely out of the feedstock material market.

  10.4  It should be emphasised that this is a minimum cost and further processing would be required to yield a cullet of suitable quality in any glass making operation. 9.5 It should also be recognised that any failure in the infrastructure (present or future) will lead to large financial penalties for the glassmaker. Losing, typically three to seven days production due quality failure would lead to a loss in the region of £300,000-£700,000.

  10.5  It would also result in severe environmental impacts resulting from the generation of a waste glass stream from the production of contaminated glass (approximately 400-500 tonnes/day). Increased energy consumption and the use of more virgin raw materials to produce the replacement glass.

  10.6  The most economical process, which produces an aggregate stream, is currently in operation in the UK. However, further processing is still required to produce an aggregate, which would be suitable as pipe-bedding or as Class 1B uniformly graded general fill. This may involve the use of a further dense media separating step, which would entail a large investment.

  10.7  The calculated costs to produce the cullet and aggregate streams are summarised below.

  10.8  Based on these costs it is evident that it would require a considerable economic or legislative driver to make this process cost effective. Pilkington support the view that some form of up front payment is required along the lines of the system in operation in the Netherlands.


11.  REFERENCES

  1.  Glass Recycling. An automative perspective CARE 1999.

  2.  The disposal of end of life vehicles in the UK. Report commissioned by Charles Trent Ltd. June 2000.

  3.  Improving Cullet quality. GG83. Environmental Technology Best Practice Report.

  4.  Communication from British Glass.

  5.  International Dismantling Information System (IDIS plant) Version 2.0.2 Data version 3 October 2000.

12.  ANNEX

Not printed


1   Not printed. Back


 
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