According to the latest glass recycling industry data published by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) – the average glass recycling rate in the EU has risen above the 70% threshold for the first time. This means that over 11 million tonnes were collected throughout the European Union in 2011.
This achievement follows major efforts made in all EU Member States over the past few years to meet the EU’s 60% recycling target for glass, a level that was reached by all the relevant countries by 2008. Some of them recorded particularly outstanding results. The UK continues to make steady, if more modest progress at just over 60%. Other countries are in good shape to meet the target within the later fixed deadlines, while for some there is still potential to improve.
Made of natural minerals abundant in nature – sand, soda-ash and limestone – glass is a 100% recyclable material, manufactured in a one step process under one roof. Each time a bottle or jar is recycled into new containers, energy and raw materials are saved and less CO2 is emitted. 80% of glass collected for recycling is used over and over again to produce new glass bottles in the closed loop system.
By recycling glass, in 2011 in the EU:
- Over 12 million tonnes of raw materials (sand, soda ash, limestone) were saved.
- Over seven million tonnes of CO2 were avoided equal to taking four million cars off the road.
- A saving of 2.5% energy for each 10% of glass recycled in the furnace.