Glass recycling in Europe hits all-time high of 73%
- Glass and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycling have both increased in Europe, with glass recycling reaching an all-time high recycling rate of 73% in 2013, according to the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE).
- This map by FEVE represents the average rate of glass recycling in each country. Denmark has the highest rate at 98%, followed closely by Sweden at 97% and Switzerland at 96%.
- PET trade association Petcore Europe reported that 1.7 million metric tons of PET containers were collected in 2014, up 6.8% from 2013 and representing 57% of the plastic packaging placed on the market that year. PET demand also increased in 2014 by 4.8% by weight.
"The high glass recycling rate of 73% shows that the glass packaging model is the best performing closed-loop business model, but more resources need to be invested to improve glass recycling even further and especially in countries lagging behind," said FEVE President Vitaliano Torno to Resource.
More resources also must be invested in PET recycling. Despite high numbers of PET bottles being collected, the PET recycling industry operating rate dropped from 83% in 2013 to 79% in 2014, according to Resource. Petcore cited pricing "and pressure from low virgin PET resin prices that occurred in the last quarter of the year" for the drop.
Trade association British Glass also noted economic factors, saying, "It is unclear at this time to know how much impact budgetary cuts on Local Authorities will have on future performance."
Low levels of commodity recycling have been an economic issue in the U.S. market, as well.