How to calculate the Recycled Content and the Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCR) of Glass Containers.

Brussels, 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.

Re-melting glass into a glass furnace brings many major environmental benefits. Each time 1 tonne of glass is recycled in a glass furnace:
• it avoids the extraction of 1.2 tonnes of virgin raw materials
• it reduces the CO2 emissions by 580 kg
• it reduces the energy consumption of the furnace (every 10% increase of cullet will reduce the energy consumption of the furnace by about 2.5%)

On top of those benefits, glass has an additional advantage when it comes to recycling, namely it is a permanent material. This means that glass has the potential to be recycled over and over again, without any loss of its main intrinsic properties. Permanent materials are perfect to maintain a true circular material loop. Due to the strength of their chemical bonds, permanent materials are indeed not damaged by the recycling process and can stay in the recycling loop as long as they are properly collected, treated and re-melted.

In this context, as there is a need to unambiguously define the recycled content of glass containers, the container glass industry makes recommendations in this paper on how to calculate two different ratios:
• the Recycled Content of glass containers
• and the Post-Consumer Recycled content (PCR) of glass containers

See full position paper