Boosting closed loop glass recycling in Europe: Why Deposit Return Schemes are not the way forward
Evidence across Europe shows that DRS does not maximise quantity or quality of recycled glass and we consider that including glass in a DRS could have a range of negative consequences and put existing collection and recycling systems at risk.
Unlike many other waste streams, there is a high demand for recycled glass and the average collection rate across Europe is currently 76%, with most of the bottles recycled being reprocessed back into bottles. There is potential and ambition to do more and – as part of the multi-stakeholder partnership Close the Glass Loop – we aim to boost the European collection for recycling rate to 90% by 2030 and improve the quality of recycled glass, so that more recycled content can be used in a new production loop. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes already ensure that all types of glass containers are effectively collected and recycled at the end of their life.