Glass Recycling Continues to Increase in Europe

According to the latest glass recycling estimates – published one year ahead of the official Eurostat data – more than 67% of glass bottles and jars were collected for recycling in the European Union in 2009. The figures released by FEVE, the EU Container Glass Federation, translate into about 11 million tonnes or 25 billion glass bottles and jars being collected throughout the European Union, confirming the steady and positive trend of the last years (66% in 2008).

“Glass recycling increases each year thanks to the commitment of consumers everywhere. Our industry is able to turn this waste into a valuable resource to make new bottles and jars because glass by nature is 100% recycleable,” says Niall Wall, president of FEVE – the European Container Glass Federation.

Recycling glass avoids the use of virgin raw materials, reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Glass recycling contributes to creating and securing economic growth and local employment in Europe because glass is locally collected, locally recycled and locally produced. The act of recycling means that glass producers can make use of the same materials over and over again. This characteristic of glass puts the material at the centre stage in the ambitious strategy of the European Commission to make the European Union a ‘circular economy’ where recycling is the key factor to waste reduction and where waste is considered as a valuable resource.

Belgium has the highest glass recycling rate at 96% followed by Switzerland on 95% and Netherlands on 92%. Ireland recycled 80% of its glass bottles and jars in 2009 and the UK achieved a rate of 62%.

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