Glass Recyling Figures Steady in 2010

Date: 29 March 2012
Source: FEVE
Using waste as a raw material feeds the circular economy According to the latest glass recycling estimates (1) – published today by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) and one year ahead of Eurostat’s official data – the average glass recycling rate in the European Union remains stable at 68%. That means about 25 billion glass bottles and jars were collected throughout the European Union in 2010. While industry makes use of all the glass that is collected; not all types of recycling carry the same environmental benefit. The product closed loop is at the top because it replaces the need for virgin materials within the same product life cycle: 80% of collected glass bottles and jars are recycled in a bottle-­‐to-­‐bottle closed loop recycling system. By recycling glass, in 2010 in the EU (2) : • More than 12 million tons of raw materials (sand, soda ash, limestone) were saved: that’s two Egyptian Pyramids worth of sand and other raw materials saved (3) . • More than 7 million tons of CO2 was avoided equal to taking 4 million cars off the road. Because glass is 100% infinitely recyclable in a closed loop system, each time a bottle or jar is properly collected and recycled and made into new containers, energy and raw materials are saved and less CO2 is emitted. These characteristics make glass a clear example to follow in the ambitious strategy of the European Commission to make the European Union a ‘resource efficient’ economy where recycling is the key factor to waste reduction and where waste is considered as a valuable resource (4) .

Glass collection and recycling is the perfect component of a circular economy,” says Niall Wall, President of FEVE. “As there is still 32% of glass that is not yet collected our goal is to get this precious resource back in the bottle-­‐to-­‐bottle loop. With the help of national and EU authorities, collectors and processors we want to increase the quantities of good quality glass collected so that we can recycle more in our plants.”

FEVE has recently worked with ACR+ the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management to promote good practices in glass recycling in Europe. The report (5) says separated waste collection schemes should be widely supported if we are to build a circular economy for glass packaging. In May 2012 the EU Commission is due to announce a new legal status for post consumer glass (cullet) – giving cullet a status of non-­‐waste, a measure that is likely to help further increase glass recycling rates.

(1) Published on The number of units has been calculated on a standard average EU weight of 450g. Currently, glass lightweight bottle can weigh 285g. Where data 2010 were not available from FEVE sources, 2009 Eurostat data were used.

(2) Based on calculations backed by COREVE and FEVE. See

(3) It is estimated that that 5.5 million tons of limestone, 8,000 tons of granite and 500,000 tons of mortar were used in the construction of the Great Pyramid.



About FEVE

FEVE is the association of European manufacturers of glass containers and machine-­‐ made glass tableware. The members of FEVE produce over 20 million tonnes of glass per year. The association has some 60 corporate members belonging to approximately 20 independent corporate groups. Manufacturing plants are located across 23 European States and include global blue chip and major companies working for the world’s biggest consumer brands.

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About the Container Glass Industry

The European container glass industry provides a wide range of glass packaging products for food and beverages as well flacons for perfumery, cosmetics and pharmacy to their European and world customers. With its 160 manufacturing plants distributed all over Europe, it is an important contributor to Europe’s real economy and provides direct employment to about 50,000 people, while creating a large number of job opportunities along the total supply chain. See more on

About Glass

As packaging, glass containers assure the preservation, safe delivery and attractive presentation of a vast array of consumer products, supplied to European and world markets. Whether used for drinks, food, cosmetics, perfumes or pharmaceuticals, glass plays a vital role in supporting European trade and commerce. Glass is 100 percent recyclable, virtually inert and preserves the original taste of the products it contains. Food and drinks need the protection of its container to preserve purity, because health is not only in the ingredients but also in the packaging that preserves these ingredients. Consumers who believe glass is the best packaging option for their preferred food and drinks support glass by joining the Friends of Glass forum on

For further information contact: Michael Delle Selve, Communications and Operations Manager, FEVE E-­‐mail:, Tel: +32 (0)2 536 00 82 Follow FEVE now on Twitter!

600450 Glass Recyling Figures Steady in 2010
Date: 29 March 2012
Source: FEVE

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