Europe recycled glass market to witness phenomenal gains, evolving sustainability trends to drive the demand

August 13, 2018

Owing to global rising emphasis on environmental sustainability, the graph of recycled glass market has been traversing along a lucrative path in the recent times. Various governments and regulatory authorities are making concerted efforts to find enhanced methods of disposing and recycling hazardous waste. The benefits of recycling glass can be assessed from the fact that glass makers utilize almost 70% of recycled glass while manufacturing a new glass container. Moreover, numerous business verticals have been using recycled glass to save energy and cut down the carbon footprint. For instance, the fiberglass and container producing industries collectively purchase around 3.35 million tons of recycled glass annually – a factor that has immensely contributed toward the growth prospects of recycled glass industry over the past few years.

A brief snapshot of Europe’s recycled glass market trends

According to the statistics published by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) in 2015, the European Union achieved an average glass recycling rate of about 73% for the very first time. The federation further claimed that around 25 billion glass containers sourced from EU nations are being recycled in a bottle to bottle closed loop recycling model. Moreover, this Circular Economy recycling model is believed to be a sustainably viable scheme and can be incentivized to garner more investments in the European recycled glass industry.

It is quite a well-known fact that glass jars and bottles are 100% recyclable and can be recycled innumerable times without any loss in quality or purity. The major glass manufacturers have been realizing the benefits of inculcating cullet in producing new glass equipment – a factor that indicates the rising prominence of cullet in the recycled glass market space. Reportedly, the usage of cullet in glass furnaces has proved to reduce the overall energy consumption by a significant level as compared to other raw materials. Cullet is known to have a lower melting energy requirement coupled with an approximately 20% lesser mass than the equivalent materials. This makes it an ideal material that can be used in all kinds of glass furnaces including oxy-fuel-fired, fossil fuel-fired, and electrically heated furnaces.  

The aforementioned advantages of cullet have compelled various regulatory authorities to lay out stringent guidelines regarding its usage in the glass manufacturing industry. For instance, the European Commission Regulation No. 1179/2012 has put in place various provisions to affirm the feasibility of using glass cullet. These provisions, which have been adopted in accordance with Directive 2008/98/EC on waste disposal, establish strict norms to determine when the glass cullet ceases to be a waste. These regulations are specifically applied to cullet that is utilized in the manufacturing of glass substances or objects in re-melting processes. Needless to mention, an assortment of favorable regulatory structures would have an optimistic impact on the growth prospects of the recycled glass market.

Concurrently, more than 11.6 million tons of glass bottles are being recycled into food grade quality material across European nations, as per authentic sources. Apparently, this food grade material is further utilized in manufacturing new glass containers. In addition to this, countries such as Sweden, Belgium, and Slovenia have formed exceptional separate collection systems which has invariably assisted recycled glass industry players to function effectively.

With glass containers being impermeable and non-porous, numerous food products sold in these containers are protected safely. In this regard, the food and beverages industry has been using glass packaging extensively which has benefited the overall recycled glass market. It is quite prudent to mention that the rising consumption of beer and alcohol-based beverages is directly proportional to higher manufacturing figures of glass packaging. This would, in turn, boost the product penetration across various geographies and prove to be rather advantageous for the firms operating in the global recycled glass industry.

Driven by a widespread spectrum of applications in the food and beverages, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, the demand for recycled glass bottles, jars, and containers is certain to witness a marked increase in the forthcoming years which would eventually impel the commercialization scale of recycled glass market share. has a newly published market research report on recycled glass with industry forecasts to 2025 available at .

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