Key wine and glass organisations have come together and agreed on an ambitious target for glass recycling within the EU. A new organisation, the Circular Economy Platform for Glass Collection & Recycling aims to collect and recycle 90% of all glass packaging sold in the EU.
“Wine is not an ordinary product and represents an enduring cultural symbol of fine life in which packaging has a fundamental role,” said Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), adding that more than 90% of European wines are packed in glass. “By helping the glass packaging chain to improve their sustainability score, we directly improve ours.”
The Circular Economy Platform for Glass Collection & Recycling brings together FEVE, the European manufacturers of glass containers for food, beverages and other products like perfumes, with CEEV. The latter’s members include 23 national wine organisations from 12 EU member states, along with Switzerland, the Ukraine and four leading European wine companies; CEEV’s members account for more than 90% of wine produced in Europe.
“The wine sector is one of our leading market segments, with a constant growth recorded in the last years. It is fundamental we can collaborate, and support each other in our sustainability efforts,” said Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE.
The Close the Loop initiative aims to create national recycling plans alongside a European platform that coordinates the project. The groups will exchange knowledge and work out better systems to improve collection and sorting.
According to FEVE, around 76% of glass is recycled in the EU, accounting for more than 25bn glass containers. Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Germany are the top recyclers; although Eastern Europe generally lags behind, glass recycling rates have picked up in Estonia, Slovenia, the Slovak Republic and Croatia. Altogether, continental Europe has the highest glass recycling rates in the world.