European spirits federation spiritsEUROPE has joined Close the Glass Loop, a new industry-wide platform created to boost the quantity and quality of recycled glass in Europe led by glass association FEVE. The platform’s official launch will take place online on June 30th.
spiritsEurope, which represents 31 associations of spirits producers and 10 multinational companies, is the first spirits body to join the project. It views its membership to Close the Glass Loop as a logical step in an industry that is working to make its value chain more sustainable, according to spiritsEurope director general Ulrich Adam.
Close the Glass Loop was founded with the objective of boosting the collection rate of glass packaging to 90% by 2030 and inject more recycled glass back into the bottle-to-bottle glass packaging loop. FEVE figures from 2017 show that the average collection-for-recycling rate for glass packaging across the EU reached 76%, with most of the 30 billion containers collected returned to the 160 glass packaging manufacturing plants in Europe. These sites collectively produce more than 80 billion bottles and jars annually for the wine & spirits, perfumery & cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors.
Close the Glass Loop intends to promote selective collection of glass packaging to boost the quantity and quality of untreated cullet, as well as optimize sorting and treatment systems to increase yields, even from poor collection systems, and generate more furnace-ready cullet.
FEVE highlights that increased availability of quality cullet will result in more resource-efficient and lower-emission glass production with every ton of recycled glass saving 1.2 tons of virgin raw material.
Recycling “more and better” is also an important step in reaching EU targets, which focus on recycling and not just collection rates; per country recycling targets for glass packaging have been set at 70% by 2025 and 75% by 2030.
Following in the footsteps of spiritsEurope, wine industry platform Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins – CEEV joined Close the Glass Loop in early May.