In a response this week to the European Commission’s Circular Economy package, which was outlined in December, FEVE, representing the Europe’s container glass industry has called on the European Parliament and Council to make separate collection of packaging mandatory across the EU.
To meet this need FEVE has proposed extending the use of bottle banks for the collection of material.
In its report, the organisation said: “Setting up recycling infrastructure for container glass has sparked a glass recycling value chain that has contributed to growth and jobs in local areas, helping to collect an EU average of 73% of all post-consumer glass packaging and keep valuable resources out of landfills. More investments will be required in all Member States to ensure the separate collection, sorting and treatment of glass to guarantee a ready-to-use secondary raw material for the industry.
“To ensure that recycled material is fully re-introduced into manufacturing, separate collection schemes, where glass is not collected with other materials, are absolutely essential for a circular business model. Separate collection schemes should be made mandatory across the EU and European funding streams must be geared towards exchange of best practice and the extension of the bottle bank concept for glass across all EU Member States.”
As well as separate packaging collection, the report calls for EU policy makers to recognise the ‘superior value’ of materials such as glass and to maintain high targets for glass recycling. Glass remains of value as a secondary raw material because it can remain in the same production loop without degradation, the organisation claims.
FEVE currently has over 60 company members and 22 corporate groups across the European Union, Switzerland and Turkey. The group says it is ready to work with policymakers in ‘supporting the transition towards a resource-efficient Europe’.
According to the report, more investment into the separate collection and treatment of glass is needed.
Proposals outlined in the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package adopted in December 2015, featured revised targets for the recycling of glass packaging with a proposed goal of 75% recycling by 2025 and 85% by 2030.
The package outlined a 65% municipal waste reuse and recycling target by 2030 (see letsrecycle.com story).
Furthermore, FEVE has welcomed the EU Commission’s proposal to exclude backfilling from the definition of recycling and recommend that a specific strategy should be developed for permanent materials in the Circular Economy Action Plan.
The report can be found here.