British Glass responds to 'Glass worse for planet than plastic, warns Coca-Cola'

British Glass responds to an article in the Telegraph

British Glass, the UK representative body for the glass manufacturing sector, today rebutted claims that glass could be more damaging to the environment than some other packaging materials.

David Dalton, Chief Executive of British Glass, said: “The simple facts are these: glass is infinitely recyclable back into new bottles and jars, and is extensively recycled. Wherever it comes from – a bottle of wine from Argentina or a jar of marmalade from Oxford -  glass can go directly into the local recycling infrastructure. A used bottle or jam jar is always 100% recyclable.

“Recycling glass is straightforward, unlike recycling many other packaging materials. A glass bottle is remelted  back into a glass bottle. And glass doesn’t deteriorate no matter how many times it’s recycled.

“Glass manufacturers in the UK already recycle almost 70% of all packaging glass sold in the UK, and are working hard with the Government and local authorities  to match the levels reached in some other countries.  Belgium, Slovenia and Sweden already achieve more than 95%. Glass is one of a small number of materials which can deliver on such aspirations.”

Figures from FEVE, the European Glass Container Manufacturers’ Federation, show that the amount of energy used to produce a tonne of glass has been halved over the last 40 years.

Mr Dalton added: “We call on Government to invest more decisively in infrastructure to help improve the recovery of used glass. We view every gram as a precious resource.

“We can see a future where glass is manufactured using only renewable energy and previously used glass, so becoming a zero carbon material. But to make this a reality, we need a robust collection infrastructure that is convenient for consumers.”

See the original article, which appeared in the Telegraph on 27/01/19.


  • UK high volume glass manufacturing, which employs over 6,500 directly and another 115,000 in the supply chain, contributes around £1.3bn to the UK economy annually
  • British Glass and the European ‘Friends of Glass’ initiative worked with 96,000 schoolchildren in 2018 to encourage glass recycling
  • One bottle recycled can power a computer for 25 minutes