According to the latest glass recycling industry data (1) – published today by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) – the average glass recycling rate in the European Union has risen above the 70% threshold for the first time. This means that over 11 million tons were collected throughout the European Union in 2011.
This achievement follows major efforts made in all EU Member States over the past few years to meet the EU’s 60% recycling target for glass, a level that was reached by all the relevant countries by 2008. Some of them recorded particularly outstanding results. Other countries are in good shape to meet the target within the later fixed deadlines, while for some there is still potential to improve (2) .
All participants in the glass closed loop have contributed to these good results. On the one hand, the glass industry has designed, manufactured and marketed containers to be effectively recycled in a closed loop system. They have also effectively communicated good recycling practices to consumers. On the other hand, collection and processing schemes have also been extended and progressively improved, while the public has also been made aware of the importance of collecting more glass and better. Used glass bottles are a precious resource and should be properly collected through separate streams.
"We have no problems in absorbing more recycled glass provided that this is of high quality. Glass recycling is the key component of the circular economy – because recycling closes the loop.” says Stefan Jaenecke, President of FEVE - “Glass recycling saves raw materials and energy and reduces production costs".
(1) Published on www.feve.org. These average data are published as industry estimates based on latest available figures at country level.
(2) Deadlines to meet the 60% target vary from 2008 to 2015 according to the EU MS. Defined by the EC Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (EC Official Journal L 365, 31/12/1994).