Promoting the circularity of glass packaging
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) organisations across Europe are committed to increasing the quality and efficiency of the glass recycling value chain through separate collection, quality recycling and closed loop manufacturing of glass. A practical example of how to achieve genuine circularity of glass packaging is ‘Close the Glass Loop’, the major industry stewardship programme for glass packaging initiated by FEVE and aiming to reach a post-consumer glass container collection target of 90% by 2030. In parallel, the initiative should ensure that the recycled material is reused again into a new production loop of glass containers.
The role of EPR in glass collection and maximising glass recycling was discussed during a workshop on 12 December 2019 in Brussels, bringing together participants from 14 different countries and 16 different EPR schemes. The main issues raised were how glass manufacturers and cullet processors co-operate to minimise losses and increase the quality of recycled glass entering the furnace, how EPR schemes operate to raise awareness and educate citizens to collect more and better glass and which actions they take to make sure this happens without compromising on the quality of the material and how to best develop the bottle bank system to reach higher collection goals. Eight different national perspectives were presented and discussed, highlighting the diversity of waste management systems across Europe but also the importance of tailored solutions in every country.
“We welcome such an initiative (as Close the Glass Loop) on a European level that will give a strong framework to our actions in France” commented Jean Hornain, General Director of CITEO. “Only last month, we co-signed the Charter 100% Verre Solutions with 24 other organisations, including the association of local authorities. We look forward to co-operating with Close the Glass Loop to reach ambitious objectives on glass collection and recycling.