A major programme today to increase the European recycling collection rate to 90% was launched earlier today.

The Close the Glass Loop initiative aims to boost glass collection rates to 90% by 2030.

The initiative gathers 12 European federations representing glass manufacturers, processors, brands, Packaging Recovery Organisations and municipalities

At today’s online launch event, 200 participants joined founding partners and national representatives from 11 countries to launch the platform and sign off on the European Action Plan.

The European Action Plan, presented by Michel Giannuzzi, President of the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), aims to address structural challenges in the glass collection and recycling chain which are common to most EU countries.

With municipalities seen as a key player to mobilise collection, ‘Close the Glass Loop’ will establish a partnership with local authorities to expand source-separated glass collection, improve glass collection in large cities and tourist areas and ensure that use, collection and recycling of glass containers is better supported by common guidelines and tools, at all stages of use.

Individual action points will range from organising a Municipalities Roadshow and best-practice workshops, to support pilot projects in densely populated or tourist destinations, develop a roadmap for cullet quality and reinforce cooperation between national stakeholders.

Mr Giannuzzi said: We have the advantage of working with a material that is 100% and infinitely circular by nature and already a success story in terms of sustainability.

"The more we recycle glass, the less we litter or rely on virgin resources, while also providing premium packaging in terms of quality preservation, health and safety.

"Today, 76% of glass packaging in the EU market is collected for recycling – but there is more to be done. 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.”

The European founding partners are the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), European Federation of Glass Recyclers (FERVER), Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW), spiritsEUROPE, Soft Drinks Europe (UNESDA), Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA), Producer Responsibility Organisations Packaging Alliance (PROsPA, represented by CITEO), ACR+, Eurocities, Municipal Waste Europe, European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), and European Association of Food and Vegetable Processors (PROFEL).

The full action plan can be viewed at www.closetheglassloop.eu