European glass recycling rate stable at 68 per cent


New figures published by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) show that countries in the European Union have kept the average glass recycling rate at 68 per cent.

In the UK, the average total glass recycling figure stands at 61 per cent, although only 600,000 tonnes of the total 1.6 million tonnes collected is currently being send for remelt, with 400,000 tonnes sent for use as an aggregate.


Last week, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed changes to the Packaging Regulations that will see glass recycling split into remelt and aggregate targets.

British Glass head of container affairs Rebecca Cocking said: “We welcome the new targets but would still urge the Government that while local authorities are not subject to this legislation, there is a danger that too much cullet will continue to end up in our roads instead of back on the shelf.”

In May 2012, the European Commission is due to announce a new legal status for cullet that will give it a status of non-waste, that should help increase glass recycling rates.

FEVE president Niall Wall said: “Glass collection and recycling is the perfect component of a circular economy. As there is still 32 per cent of glass that is not yet collected our goal is to get this previous resource back in the bottle-to-bottle loop. With the help of national and EU authorities, collectors and processors we want to increase the quantities of good quality glass collected so that we can recycle more in our plants.”