Trade association Spirits Europe has become a partner of the Close the Glass Loop initiative, which aims to achieve a 90% collection rate of used glass packaging by 2030.
The campaign is run by the Federation of European manufacturers of glass containers and machine-made glass (FEVE).
The European Union’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), which was revised last year, increased recycling targets for glass packaging to 70% by 2025 and 75% by 2030 per country. The rule refers to the actual recycling of packaging materials, not just collection rates, FEVE said. To meet these targets, FEVE said there needs to more effort made to increase and improve collection.
In addition, the initiative also aims to achieve better quality of recycled glass, so more recycled content can be used in a new production loop. The use of good-quality glass results in a more resource-efficient and lower emission production process.
FEVE said the demand for good-quality recycled glass for the use of production of new glass packaging currently exceeds supply.
The initiative will be developed through the promotion of selective collection of glass packaging to increase the quantity and quality of untreated cullet, optimisation and developing sorting and treatment systems to increase yields, even from poor collection systems, and the creation of more furnace-ready cullet.
In addition, FEVE said there needs to be an exchange of knowledge and best practice in collection, sorting and treatment systems between countries.
The Close the Glass Loop initiative will be structured through two components: a multi-sponsor European programme that coordinates the projects and the creation of action plans at national level.
“With 100% of raw materials for spirit distillates sourced directly from nature, sustainable production processes are in our sector’s DNA and at the heart of what we do,” said Ulrich Adam, director general of Spirits Europe.
“In line with this, European spirit producers understand and consistently work towards reducing the environmental impact of our activities.
“In particular, we address the use of resources such as the reuse of by-products from distillation as feed product for farm animals as well as the challenge of reusable and recyclable packaging. The Close the Glass Loop initiative complements our drinksinitiatives.eu we undertake across Europe with our partners to make our value chain more sustainable.”
Glass is the leading packaging material for spirits, wine and beer, as well as perfumery, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.
Adeline Farrelly, FEVE secretary general, added: “Spirits is one of our leading customers, with most products packed in glass. We are proud to work together to increase bottle-to-bottle recycling.
“The collaboration with Spirits Europe will strengthen our circular economy model with significant sustainability benefits as increasing recycling rates has also the effect of reducing [carbon dioxide] emissions and energy consumption as well as diverting waste from landfill.”
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