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Sustainability and Climate-neutral Production

By 2050 the glass packaging industry aims to transform glass production to offer fully climate-neutral packaging solutions in addition to being fully circular. As an energy-intensive sector, the industry continuously invests in reducing and optimising energy use and switching to green and renewable energies – to reduce the overall environmental impacts and costs linked to glass manufacturing.

The industry has come a long way in decarbonising production. Today, glass is 30% lighter, 70% less energy-intensive and emits 50% less CO2 than fifty years ago. Nonetheless, significant change is needed to achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions.

Transitioning to climate-neutral production requires a large sum of capital and operational expenditure. Public sector support and funding is, therefore, important to help industries deploy the technologies needed to meet the decarbonisation targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement: a -61% CO2 reduction by 2030 compared to 2005 and net carbon neutrality by 2050.

That is why the glass packaging industry is committed to a twofold strategic approach to address their carbon footprint and to transform regulation to address other industry emissions.

Discover our position papers:

Position on energy shortages in the container glass industry .

March 2022
In this paper, FEVE wants to inform decision-makers about the consequences of an energy cut in the container glass industry and its value chain.


FEVE & FERVER joint position paper on recycled content

05 October 2021
The EU is reviewing the Packaging Directive and considering recycled content targets, while glass packaging manufacturers and recyclers are committed to a circular economy.


Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

14 July 2021
FEVE responds to EU consultation on carbon pricing options, including CBAM, but finds it difficult to fully answer without more information on CBAM organization.


Glass sand – UNI test method for the determination of non-glass inorganic material

05 November 2020
Glass sand, made from ground up waste glass and ceramic fragments, can be used in glass production.


Calculation of recycled content and post-consumer recycled content of glass containers

01 October 2020
Glass is endlessly recyclable in a closed loop, it is inert and impermeable to gases no matter how many times it is recycled.


COVID-19: Ensured continued manufacturing of glass packaging

19 March 2020
The container glass industry asks for support to maintain production of food, beverage, and pharmaceutical packaging during the current crisis.


Long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future

26 November 2019
Industry4Europe coalition releases joint paper on EU industrial strategy with recommendations in 7 areas; calls for ambitious, long-term plan to support innovative, sustainable industry.


Recycling Rate rather than Recycled Content

03 July 2019
European glass industry prioritizes increasing availability of high-quality, color-separated cullet for bottle-to-bottle recycling.


Future development of PEF: Glass industry welcomes the opportunity to contribute

20 December 2018
Container glass industry welcomes chance to contribute to future development of Product Environmental Footprint method.


Stakeholder consultation on Chemical, Product, Waste Interface

7 July 2017
Chemicals, products, and waste should be the focus of food packaging work; only safe, recyclable materials should be used; closed-loop systems and permanent materials should be incentivized; environmental footprint methodology should consider chemical contaminants.


EU ETS – No trade-off on Fairness

10 May 2017
The Parliament, the Council and the Commission enter now the trilogue negotiations that will shape the ETS directive after 2020.


Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy

16 February 2017
Europe is the cradle of the manufacturing industry and has been at the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations.


Industry Alliance call for #FAIREUETS

07 February 2017
All approaches which are discriminatory towards sectors exposed to carbon leakage risks and namely: the “tiered approach” to free allowance allocation should be rejected.


EUETS Post 2020: Energy-intensive industries say ‘no’ to Tiered Approach

27 September 2016
EU energy-intensive industries call for a predictable and stable policy framework that supports innovation and long-term industrial investments.


EU ETS reform post-2020: An asset for Europe’s low-carbon economy

02 June 2016
The container glass industry in Europe needs a stable policy framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support innovation.


ETS position paper of the Alliance of energy intensive industries

04 September 2014
The 2030 climate and energy framework must set principles for carbon reduction measures to ensure predictability for industry.


How is the glass packaging industry working towards a climate-neutral future:

Cutting 60% of direct furnace CO2 emissions through an energy transition for melting technologies

The European container glass industry joint efforts on the ‘Furnace for the Future’ project allowed the industry to design break-through technology that massively reduce CO2 emissions by replacing natural gas with up to 80% renewable electricity. Through new insights and expertise, glass manufacturing companies continue investing in breakthrough technology and scaling up on electric melting on a commercial scale.

These “Furnaces for the Future” will be capable of melting reduced (amber) glass, as well as flint and green glass, together with high levels of recycled glass. The industry also continues to invest in exploring other solutions (biomass, hydrogen etc.). At company level, there are many ongoing sustainability initiatives to reduce carbon emissions during glass production. See examples on the glass hallmark website:: 

Hitting the ‘innovation sweet spot’: How Gerresheimer’s new sustainable technology brings big environmental benefits to glass production 

Eco2Bottle – the climate-neutral glass bottle 

 – Italy’s ‘Divina’ pilot marks a new breed of hydrogen-powered glass furnaces

Addressing the remaining 20% through closing the glass recycling loop

  • These 20% of CO2 emissions come from the melting of virgin raw materials in the furnace. These can be eliminated by replacing raw materials with recycled glass (cullet). Every tonne of recycled glass saves 1.2 tonnes of virgin raw materials, with a 3% energy reduction for each 10% of glass recycled in the furnace and a 5% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Glass is Europe has a collection rate of 79%, making it the most recycled and closed loop packaging material. Most recycled glass ends up back in the production loop: the average batch mix contains 52% recycled content. However, while 80% of glass put on the market is collected, 20% is not. To close the loop, glass depends on a whole system of stakeholders working together to collect more and better-quality glass for recycling.

The Close the Glass Loop is a multi-stakeholder platform to unite the glass collection and recycling value chain, and to establish a material stewardship programme that will result in more bottle-to-bottle recycling. The Close the Glass Loop aims to increase and improve people’s recycling habits by bringing together local authorities, cities, brands, recyclers and producers – to achieve a 90% collection rate by 2030.

Encouraging investments and transforming regulation to address other industry emissions

The industry is keeping the pace in addressing not only CO2 but also other emissions coming from the production process. However, the transformation process requires important investments in the coming years. The regulatory framework needs to allow for an investment-conducive environment, which is key to the materialisation of the EU policy objectives. It needs to carefully combine the incentives for the reduction of pollution and provide sufficient flexibility for the integration of new, potentially disruptive technologies.  

The European Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism is one of the possible options to protect EU industries against the risk of carbon leakage. However, FEVE notes it is crucial to establish a medium/long-term vision for the regulation, keeping in mind the effects for different sectors. See the FEVE contribution to the October 2020 European Commission Consultation for the industry’s full position.

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Glass is made from natural ingredients – making it best for preserving taste and quality​. As a tasteless and odourless material with no chemical interaction, glass prevents the transfer.




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