Glass recycling collection bins in Europe.

A new effort plans to increase the glass collection rate in the EU from its current 76% to 90% by 2030. | SYDOROVA OLEKSANDRA/Shutterstock

Brands, recycling firms and others have pledged to significantly boost collection of glass in Europe over the coming decade, and product stewardship will be part of the strategy.

Close the Glass Loop, which held an official launch event on June 30, plans to increase the glass collection rate in the EU from its current 76% to 90% by 2030. The industry-led effort vows to boost the quantity and quality of available recycled glass, and it will do this by establishing “a material stewardship programme that will result in more bottle-to-bottle recycling,” according to a release.

In product stewardship frameworks, product producers help fund and/or manage the recovery of materials they put into the marketplace.

The initiative includes members from the glass manufacturing and recycling sectors, brand owners, packaging stewardship groups and municipal governments. In the release, stakeholders said the project “connects the entire European glass packaging ecosystem” to improve glass recovery.

The industry initiative comes against a backdrop of EU legislation that sets recycling rate goals for different materials. The Circular Economy Action Plan legislation has set a glass recycling rate target of 75% by 2030, a figure lower than the material’s current recovery rate in the EU.

The Close the Glass Loop coalition target of 90% collection means collection will far outpace its legislated rate in the EU.

Among other components, the initiative will promote “selective collection of glass packaging to increase the quality of untreated cullet.” It will also look to improve sorting and treating systems to boost glass yields even from lower-quality sources.

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