Set in motion in response to EU rules increasing net recycling targets for glass packaging to 75% by 2030, the Close the Glass Loop programme provides a pan-European industry platform to unite the glass collection and recycling value chain.
Federations representing glass manufacturers, processors, brands, packaging recovery organisations and municipalities have teamed up to address the structural challenges in the industry.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, the European commissioner in charge of the environment, fisheries and oceans, told the event in a pre-recorded message: “Glass is a great example of a circular material. You are already achieving outstanding results in waste collection and recycling.
“But today you show that you want to do more, that you are determined to bring levels up across the EU and seek the room for improvement all along the chain.
“I am confident that you will complete your mission and make the Close the Glass Loop Platform the springboard to the higher levels of the waste hierarchy.”
More than 200 participants joined founding partners and national representatives from eleven countries to launch the platform and sign off on European Action Plans.
“I am confident you will complete your mission and make the Close the Glass Loop Platform the springboard to the higher levels of the waste hierarchy”
The event was told partners would establish ties with local authorities, expanding source-separated glass collection, improve glass collection in large cities and tourist areas, and ensuring that use, collection and recycling of glass containers was better supported by common guidelines and tools.
Representatives from Austria, France, Spain and Sweden presented their own National Action Plans, demonstrating the variation in approaches across the continent.
The twelve European founding partners include the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), European Federation of Glass Recyclers (FERVER) and Producer Responsibility Organisations Packaging Alliance (PROsPA, represented by CITEO).
European Action Plan
Michel Giannuzzi, president of FEVE, set out Close the Glass Loop’s European Action Plan, emphasising the need to implement collection and recycling systems to work better.
He said the Plan was founded on three pillars: circularity and innovation, the co-ordination of national platforms, and communication and the raising of awareness.
Mr Ginauzzi told the event: “We need to fully seize the advantages offered by glass and recycle more and better. And to this end, we need the active commitment of the whole value chain.
“The level of engagement in Close the Glass Loop to date lays really promising grounds for success and I am very much looking forward to the positive impact it will create over time.”
Close the Glass Loop says 76% of glass packaging placed on the EU market is already collected for recycling.
Last November, Dave Dalton, the chief executive of British Glass, told letsrecycle.com the Close the Glass Loop initiative was a “fantastic opportunity” to increase the amount of glass collected in the UK and take another step towards a better circular economy for the material (see letsrecycle.com story).