UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe has joined the major industry stewardship programme for glass packaging “Close the Glass Loop”, initiated by FEVE, as it accelerates its actions towards a circular economy.

Close the Glass Loop is an industry platform which aims to unite the glass collection and recycling value chain and establish a programme that will result in more bottle-to-bottle recycling.

Established by FEVE, the EU federation of the container glass, the programme intends to work towards a post-consumer glass container collection target of 90%, as well as ensuring that this is recycled back into the production loop to come back as new packaging.

In joining the initiative, UNESDA’s members will cooperate with national glass value chains across Europe to improve the collection and recycling of glass packaging.

Based in Brussels, UNESDA has represented the European soft drinks industry since it was founded in 1958 with members from corporations and national associations. Tim Brett, the leader of Coca-Cola Western Europe, was appointed president of UNESDA last year.

“We are proud to join the Close the Glass Loop platform. It is a strong initiative and a step in the right direction towards making Europe’s economy circular. Its objectives are in line with our theme of ‘Circularity works, let’s all give it a chance’, and we are glad to be involved in building its foundations,” says Nicholas Hodac, UNESDA director general. 

“By contributing to an increased collection and endless recycling of glass packaging we help to drive sustainability throughout our value chain. Recycled glass is essential for the container glass industry. It means a more resource-efficient production process and more sustainable glass packaging solutions for our member companies”.

Adeline Farrelly, FEVE secretary general, added: “We are delighted to have UNESDA’s support and collaboration to reach the full potential of our circular economy model predicated on the endless recycling possibilities of glass.

“Soft Drinks are a key customer for our industry and are frontline in persuading consumers to recycle more and better together.”

Data published by FEVE in October last year, revealed the average collection for recycling rate for glass packaging in Europe rose to 76% in 2017. Recent European legislation has set recycling targets to 70% by 2025 and 75% by 2030 per country.