Average glass recycling rates across the European Union remained at 70% in 2012, with the UK behind at 61%, according to the latest figures from the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE).
The figures from FEVE – the trade association for the European glass industry – show that more than 25 billion glass bottles and jars were collected in the EU in 2012.
This equates to more than 12 million tonnes of glass recycled in the EU in 2012, of which around 1.6 million tonnes was recycled in the UK.
This is an increase on 2011 figures – when the EU passed the 70% mark for the first time – and the EU recycled more than 11 million tonnes of glass.
The Member State with the highest glass recycling rate in 2012 was Belgium, which collected 94% of its glass – more than 300,000 tonnes – for recycling. All Member States reached the EU’s 60% recycling target for glass in 2008.
The FEVE data comes ahead of the European Commission’s glass recycling figures for 2012, which are expected later this year.
FEVE emphasised what it sees as a success in growing recycling, claiming that between 1990 and 2012, EU consumption of products packaged in glass increased by 39%, but glass recycling increased by 131%. Around 80% of EU consumers regularly recycle their glass bottles, the Federation said.
This decoupling of industry growth and resource demand, FEVE claims, has helped save 189 million tonnes of raw materials while diverting 139 million tonnes of waste from landfill.