Licensees are being urged not to recycle glass ashtrays when venues go smoke-free because they are made from the "wrong" materials.
Glass industry leaders
have warned that ashtrays contain lead, cadmium and other materials which will contaminate recycling processes.
Ashtrays discarded in glass-recycling bins and processed with other glass products will render the whole batch of re-processed glass unusable, says the British Glass Manufacturers' Confederation (BGMC).
"Ashtrays are made from the wrong type of glass. It is vital that material sent to recycling depots is not contaminated, because it is used by the industry to make a variety of food and drink containers," said BGMC
environmental technologist Richard Edgar.
"Lead is used in the manufacturer of ashtrays because it allows a longer time for fashioning the different shapes.
"Using lead allows the glass a longer time to cool.
"We would urge all licensees to dispose of their ashtrays using their local council's service for non-recyclable products," said a Confederation spokesman.