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The circular economy: heart of glass

corresponding

MICHAEL DELLE SELVE
FEVE – The European Container Glass Federation, Bruxelles, Belgium

Abstract

Glass has long been appreciated as a useful and attractive container for food, drink, medicine and pharmaceuticals. Consumers today are also increasingly aware of the environmental benefits of glass, notably that glass can be reused or recycled continuously without affecting the quality of the final product. Demand for and production of glass in Europe reached new highs in 2018. This peak follows a series of surveys showing that shoppers see glass as the safest and most sustainable packaging choice. Rising awareness of waste and ocean pollution seems to be a major reason why some 4 out of 5 Europeans last year said glass was their preferred packaging choice.


For thousands of years, people have loved glass for its beauty. Europeans have a particularly emotional link to glass and the finer things in life: more than 8 out of 10 Europeans say they prefer to drink their wine from glass. Increasingly, however, glass is also appreciated for the sustainability and health benefits it brings. Glass production is steadily rising, as citizens look for ways to minimise damage to the environment without sacrificing health or wasting food. Recent intense political and media attention for the oceans and packaging waste is likely to further increase European demand for environmentally sound materials. Glass is inert and has no chemical layers – as EU research and legislation demonstrate. The possibility of reusing glass packaging dozens of times, and then repeatedly recycling it without affecting the quality or safety of the end product, mean glass should always have a central place in the circular economy - and in consumers’ hearts.

UNIQUE IN A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Glass can be recycled an infinite number of times without negatively affecting the quality of the finished product, Glass always remains glass. Wha ...




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