EPR schemes across Europe join forces with “Close the Glass Loop”

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Glascontainer (Foto: © Michael Loeper /http://www.pixelio.de)

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Organizations across Europe are committed to increasing the quality and efficiency of the glass recycling value chain through the separate collection, quality recycling and closed-loop manufacturing of glass.

A practical example of how to achieve genuine circularity of glass packaging is “Close the Glass Loop” – the major industry stewardship program for glass packaging initiated by FEVE and aiming to reach a post-consumer glass container collection target of 90 per cent by 2030. In parallel, the initiative should ensure that the recycled material is reused again into a new production loop of glass containers. EPR Organizations, as the link between the different stakeholders, have a key role in promoting and facilitating the better collection, high-quality sorting, and recycling of used packaging including glass, thus ensuring the achievement of the initiative’s objectives.

Expra’s Managing Director, Joachim Quoden, commented: “Expra supports the “Close the Glass Loop” as our organization and its members strive to constantly improve their performance by supporting and investing in innovative collection models, high-quality sorting & recycling and especially in communication and information campaigns for consumers, who at the end of the day are the engine at the core of the whole process. We look forward to closer cooperation with the other stakeholders in the value chain in finding the most efficient ways and means to face challenges but also exploit opportunities stemming from the new EU Waste Legislation.

“This commitment by the EPR community to Close The Glass Loop across Europe is a strong signal for the glass industry that the time is now to make a difference for the circular economy”, stated Michel Giannuzzi, President of FEVE. “As an industry, we can count on a material with a unique potential in terms of recyclability. We know there are big challenges ahead to make the most of this potential, and to face them it is essential that we foster a strong partnership with EPR schemes on European and especially on the national level”.

The role of EPR in glass collection and maximizing glass recycling was discussed during a Workshop on 12 December 2019 in Brussels, bringing together participants from 14 different countries and 16 different EPR schemes. The main issues that were raised were how glass manufacturers and cullet processors cooperate to minimize losses and increase the quality of the recycled glass entering the furnace, how EPR schemes operate to raise awareness and educate citizens to collect more and better glass and which actions they take to make sure this happens without compromising on the quality of the material, and how to best develop the bottle bank system to reach higher collection goals. Eight different national perspectives were presented and discussed, highlighting the diversity of waste management systems across Europe, but also the importance of tailored solutions in every country.

Jean Hornain, General Director of Citeo commented: “We welcome such an initiative on a European level that will give a strong framework to our actions in France. Only last month, we co-signed the Charter 100 per cent Verre Solutions with 24 other organizations, including the association of local authorities. We look forward to cooperating with Close The Glass Loop to reach ambitious objectives on glass collection and recycling.”

Michael Wiener, CEO of Der Grüne Punkt concluded: “Glass recycling saves large amounts of energy and thereby contributes significantly to climate protection. In more than 45 years glass recycling has been developed to a prime example of the closed loop idea. From our point of view, it is therefore indispensable to expand the recycling economy for glass. The way glass is collected is essential and that means good input quality for the recycling process without commingling with other materials and impurities. This initiative is an important step into the right direction which we very much welcome.”

This support from the EPR schemes comes in addition to the recently gained support from Ferver – the European glass recycler organisation.

Source: FEVE – The European Container Glass Federation

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