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FEVE: European glass recycling rates stuck at 68%

Europe – Glass recycling in the European Union flat-lined at 68% in 2010, according to data just published by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE).

The organisation points out that some 25 billion glass bottles and jars were collected across the EU during the year. Around 80% of all the bottles and jars collected were reprocessed in closed-loop recycling systems.

However, the success rate differs significantly by country. Belgium leads the way with a 96% recycling rate, followed by Luxembourg and Sweden with 92% and 91% respectively. Germany is also doing reasonably well, maintaining a total of 81%.

Finland’€™s 45% recycling rate appears to set the mark for eastern Europe, and is roughly matched by neighbouring markets such as Estonia, Latvia and Poland. FEVE reports that Turkey is performing worst of all, boasting only a 20% recycling rate, while Greece is doing little better at 24%.

Describing glass collection and recycling as ‘€˜the perfect component of a circular economy,’€™ FEVE President Niall Wall recognises there is a lot of ground still to make up. ‘€˜As there is still 32% of glass that is not yet collected, our goal is to get this precious resource back in the bottle-to-bottle loop.’€™

Mr Wall says he would like to see authorities, collectors and processors work closer together nationally and at EU level to ‘€˜increase the quantities of good quality glass collected so that we can recycle more in our plants’€™. A recent cooperation with the ACR+ association to promote good practice in glass recycling in Europe was an important step, he added.


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