In 2016, Belgium recycled 732,946 metric tons of glass, or 13% more than the previous year, according to Go4Circle figures released on Monday. Some of the glass comes from foreign countries. If we placed all the bottles and jars recycled in a line one behind the other, it could go around the Earth twice, explained the Professional Federation of Circular Economy.
Last year was marked by a dramatic 29% increase in the recycling of hollow glass items such as jars and bottles.
However, GO4Circle notes the presence of poorly designed packaging that hinders recycling. Bottle producers or packers are constantly using new forms of materials, such as glass, to which metals or other raw materials are added for the purpose of obtaining special visual effects. This is often detrimental to recyclability and resulted in the federation calling for an adaptation of the regulations in order to discourage or even prohibit certain combinations of materials.
The flat glass process has considerable untapped potential, especially for car glass and glass from the demolition and renovation of buildings.
For each ton of recycled glass used as raw material, the industry produces 670 kg less CO2. In 2016, 491,074 tons of CO2 were avoided, equivalent to the emissions of 260,000 cars, praised Go4Circle. This federation represents 220 companies, employing around 8,000 people in total and generating an annual turnover of 2.8 billion euros.