Latest Glass Packaging Recycling Rate Steady at 76%

Brussels, 1 December 2020 

Latest European glass recycling data confirm that almost 13 million tons of glass bottles and jars were collected in the EU28, giving an average glass collection for recycling rate of 76% (1) in 2018.  With the majority of this going back to remelt new bottles and jars, Glass remains the most recycled closed loop packaging material in Europe and most probably in the world. Food and beverages, perfumery, cosmetics, and pharmacy glass containers are endlessly recyclable. Recycled glass is the industry’s most important raw material today, a permanent resource which avoids depletion of natural resources; and allows for a dramatic reduction of energy use as well as of emissions.

It is a priority for the industry to ensure that the remaining 24% is collected and brought back into the glass packaging closed loop. With this in mind and with the Circular Economy at the forefront of the EU and global political agenda, the whole glass packaging value chain players have recently joined forces in a multi-stakeholder platform Close the Glass Loop to achieve the ambitious target of 90% collection of post-consumer glass containers by 2030. This multi-stakeholder objective builds on our industry commitment to the UN Sustainability Development Goal 12 to increase quantity and quality of available recycled glass in collaboration with the value chain. It is our vision to achieve 100% actual recycling of collected glass packaging.

The Close the Glass Loop platform paves the way to a renewed combination of resources and collaboration to boost the separate collection for glass packaging in the coming years and will involve all players of the bottle-to-bottle loop from consumers, customers, retailers, to municipalities, recyclers and manufacturers in a collaborative effort to collect, sort and treat the glass that is currently leaking from the system.

(1) – These data include the United Kingdom.

Please see excel file with national data