Closing the Glass Loop for a circular economy that works
We’re all looking to live more sustainably, and the glass industry is no exception. The industry-led ‘Close the Glass Loop’ initiative is just one example of a platform designed to achieve a more sustainable, circular economy – together.
Close the Glass Loop is all about increasing the quantity and quality of available recycled glass. In Europe, the current average collection rate of used glass packaging is 76%. While that’s the highest rate of all packaging materials, we can still do better! The goal is to bring that up to 90%, meaning more recycled content in a new production loop and a more circular economy.
How do we plan to achieve these ambitious goals? By uniting the glass collection and recycling value chain and establishing a material stewardship programme. From the manufacturer, glass goes through the brand owner, the filler, the consumer, the collector, and the glass treater on its way to ending up back in the production loop as recycled content. Close the Glass Loop is about bringing all these players together with one common goal: recycling more and recycling better.
Taking glass from cradle to cradle
A circular economy keeps products and materials in use for as long as possible. By keeping products and materials in use, we minimise the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste. That’s why recycling your glass is so important.
When it comes to circularity glass has long been the pioneer of packaging materials. As a completely natural material – made of just sand, soda ash and limestone, as well as recycled glass – glass is 100% and infinitely recyclable. Its inertness means that, no matter how many times its recycled, glass will always be a safe packaging material for any use. A glass perfume flacon can be recycled into a bottle for juice, then that juice bottle can be recycled into a jar for yoghurt. The loop is endless.
Keeping that glass loop closed is important for the health of our planet. Recycling saves virgin materials otherwise used to make new glass, and curbs carbon emissions. For every tonne of glass that is recycled, around 580kg of CO2 is saved throughout the supply chain.
By recycling more and better, we can make glass truly circular and make progress on new EU 2030 recycling targets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Wherever you are in the value chain, whether you’re a brand, consumer, or collector, you too can help to Close the Glass Loop.