British Glass was disappointed to see a misleading report issued by the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) regarding the comparative recycling performance between aluminium, plastic and glass packaging.
The study appears to make questionable assumptions to arrive at its figures for glass bottles, which certainly for the UK, does not show the true picture, either in terms of recycling rate, closed loop recycling or glass ending up in landfill or incineration.
Above is a graphic that shows the correct UK data, against the data given in the IAI report.
Glass remains one of the most sustainable and healthy packaging materials, which can be 100% and endlessly recycled without loss of quality. It is non-toxic, and unlike aluminium, needs no chemical layer to protect the food or drink it contains.
British Glass reached out to the IAI and hopes the report can be revisited in order to amend the incorrect assumptions.
For more information about glass recycling in the UK and Europe, visit Close the Glass Loop.
Correct Data (UK):
The graph above shows the following:
In the UK in 2019, 2574 thousand tonnes of glass packaging was consumed/placed on the market. Approximately 10% of this glass went to landfill, 19% was recovered from incineration for use in aggregates and 71% was recycled. The graph shows 24% of the glass was non-closed loop recycled (such as for aggregate) and 47% was close loop recycled back into new bottles and jars.
International Aluminium Institute Data using data assumptions (Brazil, China, Europe, Japan, USA)