Benchmark Analysis for Recycled Glass in Austrian Waste Management

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The amendment of the Waste Framework Directive of the European Commission has set a new target for the use of recyclates. It is one of the most significant findings of this strategy that recyclates are currently too infrequently integrated into new products. Glass recycling, however, is widely accepted by the society. The chemical and physical properties of glass enable an almost 100% rate of recycling. Furthermore, the society is experienced in separating glass by colour, resulting in high-quality recycling glass for the production of new glass. Cullets are significant here. Evidently, the price of recyclates is linked to the price of primary material. Practical experience has shown, however, that pricing also correlates with different quality parameters such as degree of mixing, degree of degradation and presence of impurities. This paper examines the correlation between different quality features, how they affect the price of cullets and which quality is seen as benchmark quality for the Austrian glass industry. Experts from the Austrian processing and recycling business were interviewed about the most important parameters of their quality inspection and how they affect the pricing policy. Additionally, quality parameters for input and output material are included. Besides the interviews, specific questions on correlations between the price and quality of cullets were e-mailed to several stakeholders in the glass industry. The main purpose of this paper was to identify the effects of different quality parameters on the pricing policy and how a benchmark is or can be defined. Experts from the glass processing industry did not confirm a correlation between price and quality, however: higher quality does not necessarily mean higher prices. Glassworks are ready to pay higher prices for higher qualities to meet their sustainability objectives or to expand their production capacities.


Translated title of the contributionBenchmarkstudie zu Altglasscherben in der österreischischen Abfallwirtschaft
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
Issue numberDecember
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2020