The European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), Brussels, reports that the glass recycling rate in Europe topped 70 percent in 2011, the first time the rate exceeded the 70 percent level on the continent. The FEVE notes that more than 11 million tons of glass were collected throughout the European Union in 2011.
According to data on glass recycling efforts, FEVE says more than 75 percent of the glass recovered for recycling goes into making new glass bottles.
The success follows efforts by EU Member States over the past several years to meet the EU’s 60 percent recycling target for glass, a level that was reached by most countries by 2008.
"We have no problems in absorbing more recycled glass provided that this is of high quality,” says Stefan Jaenecke, president of FEVE. “Glass recycling is the key component of the circular economy because recycling closes the loop. Glass recycling saves raw materials and energy and reduces production costs."
FEVE adds that more needs to be done to collect the remaining 30 percent of used glass that is currently being landfilled, while promoting a circular economy that suits the vision of the European Commission to build a “zero waste” and “resource efficient” society.
A map of recycling rates throughout Europe on a country-by-country basis is available here.