Europe's glass industry has welcomed statistics showing a further rise in the amount of container glass collected for recycling in 1999, beating the previous record set in 1998. The total volume of glass collected in all EU countries except Luxembourg, but including non-EU states Norway, Switzerland and Turkey, was 8.4m tonnes in 1999, up 4.6% from the 8.1m collected in 1998 (see table below).
Released by European packaging glass industry association FEVE, the statistics show that most countries included in the annual survey managed an increase in glass collection in 1999. However, there were small falls in tonnage collection in Austria, Norway and Turkey.
FEVE stresses that it is not possible to derive an accurate overall European recycling rate because of differences in calculation methods in different countries, but thinks the average is around 55%.
However, industry sources stress that not all the waste packaging glass collected is actually recycled. Only some 90,000 tonnes collected in Switzerland are recycled back into new glass products, one source told ENDS Daily, while the rest goes to secondary uses such as building and road materials or is exported. Most container glass collected in Belgium has had to be exported since the country's main glass container manufacturer collapsed.
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