25 billion glass bottles recycled in Europe


Latest data has confirmed that the glass recycling rate in Europe passed 70 per cent in 2012.

This means that 25 billion bottles and jars were collected throughout the European Union in 2012 to make new bottles.


Between 1990 and 2012, EU consumption of glass bottles increased by 39 per cent, but glass recycling increased by 131%.

The environmental impact of increased recycling means that 189 million tonnes of raw material were saved and 138 million tonnes of waste has not gone to landfill.

European Container Glass Federation president Stefan Jaenecke said: “Recycling makes good sense for us. That’s why already 40 years ago we helped to put in place glass collection schemes, to inform the public and to treat recycled glass bottles and jars as a precious resource for our industry. We did not call it the circular economy at the time, but this is it.”

He also called for an improvement in the quality of glass collected and that his organisation supports EU plans to develop a zero waste and resource efficient society.

Switzerland was Europe’s top glass recycler with a 96 per cent rate in 2012, followed by Sweden and Belgium with 94%.

The UK matched Bulgaria’s 61 per cent, compared to 83 per cent in Germany, 76 per cent in Italy, 71 per cent in France and 67 per cent in Spain.