Industry data published by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) showed that the EU28 average collection for recycling rate for glass packaging grew to the record rate of 76% in 2017.

Most of the 30 billion collected containers go back into the batch of one of the 160 plants in Europe and make the glass packaging manufacturing industry an authentic and well-functioning Circular Economy.

Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE said: “The high glass collection rate of 76% shows that the glass packaging circular economy works very well.

“Glass is a permanent material that can be endlessly recycled into new packaging, always maintaining its safety characteristics no matter how many times it’s recycled.”

Glass recycling enables helps to maintain 125,000 stable and local jobs in the EU, and glass plants deliver more than half of their products within 300km and more than 70% of raw materials travel less than 300km.

However, the 76% collection for recycling rate is the average across Europe and masks quite a diverse situation.

Top performers included Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia with over 90% glass collection rates and just behind are other high achievers like Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands and Luxembourg with well beyond 80% rates.

FEVE said that more is needed in countries like Poland, United Kingdom, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Portugal where there is a potential for growth.

It said that each country would need its own focused and tailored strategy to ensure more and better recycling.

“We are proud that recycled glass is today our most important ingredient in glass packaging for food and beverages.

“In future we’d like to offer our customers even higher rates to ensure they can in turn continue to offer their customers sustainably produced products”, added Ms Farrelly.