Europe: Initiative to Close the Glass Loop

The Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+) has joint the European initiative, which was founded by FEVE (Federation of European manu­facturers of glass containers), FERVER (the association of glass recycling companies in Europe) and EXPRA (the Extended Producer responsibility Alliance), to name but a few. The goal is to achieve 90 percent of glass packaging collection for recycling by 2030.

ACR+ represents 1,100 municipalities and 52 local and regional authorities and joins “Close the Glass Loop” putting their extensive network at the disposal of the platform. “Thanks to the cooperation of its members, ACR+ will have a key role in gathering data to build an overview of how the glass collection and sorting chain work in the Member States, cross-analyzing for these national frameworks and local waste practices”, FEVE said. “This intelligence-gathering work will enrich the Close the Glass Loop campaign and will encourage key stakeholders to focus more on end-of-use glass packaging management as a key sustainable resource that needs to be better exploited.”

The platform
Glass is already Europe’s most recycled food and beverage packaging material – the latest figures put the collection rate at 76 percent (EU-28: about 12.4 million tons in 2017). Most of the 30 billion collected containers go back into the batch of one of the 160 plants in Europe; the average batch contains 52 percent recycled content. “Yet new glass containers could be produced with more recycled glass, and we want to make that happen”, FEVE pointed out. “By recycling more and better, we can progress on new EU 2030 recycling targets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – particularly SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption – and achieve sustainable growth opportunities in the Circular Economy. Recent European legislation has set new real recycling targets. The revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is increasing recycling targets for glass packaging to 70 percent by 2025 and 75 percent by 2030 per country. Most importantly, new EU targets now measure the actual recycling of packaging materials – not just collection rates. This means that to achieve these real recycling targets, we will need to make more effort to increase and improve collection.”

“Close the Glass Loop” aims to increase the recycled content available to the industry, by collecting more and better glass upfront. The whole value chain is involved in recycling: from the glass producer to the brand owner and the filler, to the consumer and glass treater passing by the EPR and Waste Management Schemes, as well as collectors and municipalities. The vision is to achieve full actual recycling of collected glass packaging by working in partnership with the whole value chain to make sure the circular economy works better.

(GR22020, Page 13, Photo: 445693 / Pixabay)