Closing the container glass loop
Even people who work in packaging, waste management and sustainability can find it hard to get clear, simple facts to make sense of the bigger picture. We want to change that for glass.
Glass is infinitely recyclable – it doesn’t lose quality or change chemically no matter how many times it’s re-melted. Yet at the moment, around 55% of post-consumer glass waste doesn’t get re-melted back to glass. Much ends up as aggregate, or is lost to landfill or incineration.
We think that’s just not good enough because almost all of this could be made back into bottles and jars. In fact, increasing the recycled content of glass packaging is a key part of the UK glass industry’s Energy Efficiency and Decarbonisation 2050 action plan. Closing the loop on glass recycling reduces CO2 emissions, saves energy and drives down costs – so it benefits everyone: manufacturers, brands, retailers, consumers, waste processors... and of course the planet!
But it’s a complicated journey from shop shelf to homes to waste processing and back to a glass furnace. It involves government targets, the fluctuating packaging recovery note (PRN) market, evolving waste processing technology, consumer behaviour and a lot of data.
That’s why we’re setting up our free Close the loop network – an informal group of organisations and professionals from across the glass packaging life cycle who want to improve the UK’s glass recycling rate.
Close the loop is for you if you work with glass packaging as a manufacturer, brand, packer/filler, retailer or waste processor.
When you join Close the loop we promise we’ll keep you in the loop with:
- email updates on glass sustainability news, data and developments
- opportunities to feed in to British Glass policy positions on packaging recycling and sustainability
- ways to shape the future sustainability agenda and practices for glass packaging
- invitations to take part in roundtables and working groups with glass manufacturers, waste processors and other key stakeholders (where appropriate)
- access to British Glass packaging expertise.
Recycled glass can be exported to be used in glass manufacture abroad. The CO2 savings are 290 Kg CO2/tonne.