According to the latest glass recycling industry data – 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.
his 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. The UK continues to make steady, if more modest progress at just over 60%.
All participants in the glass closed loop have contributed to these good results. 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. Whilst, collection and processing schemes have also been extended and progressively improved, and the public has also been made aware of the importance of collecting more glass and better.
Eighty per cent of glass collected for recycling is used over and over again to produce new glass bottles in the closed loop system. By recycling glass, in 2011 in the EU:
• Over 12 million tons of raw materials (sand, soda ash, limestone) were saved.
• Over 7 million tons of CO2 were avoided equal to taking 4 million cars off the road.
• A saving of 2.5% energy for each 10% of glass recycled in the furnace.