27 March 2024

Close the Glass Loop launched a new National Platform in Romania


Two weeks ago, we were co-organising a high-level event with Circular Economy Coalition – CERC in the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, “Towards a Close the Glass Loop Action Plan for Romania”. A week later, we had the pleasure of announcing the launch of a new national platform in Romania.


You can view the full recording of the event here.


Here are some key takeaways from the event and some food for thought on a glass collection & recycling action plan for Romania.


The Deposit-Return System will need to be as effective as possible. As it is such a broad system, encompassing all beverage categories and almost all retail stores and the hospitality sector, it is estimated that the system will capture more than 3/4 of the glass packaging placed on the market in Romania.

Making this system effective will require particular attention to:

  •  Collection practices, to ensure that the collected glass is not crushed before being delivered to Glass Cullet Recycling Facilities, so that there is less risk that smaller particles of glass are not picked up in the recycling process;
  • Collection logistics and frequency, as the DRS will introduce a multitude of collection points across the country and Romania is characterised by long distances, including into remote areas where road infrastructure is not always optimal;
  • The hospitality sector, to ensure that their specific requirements in terms of storage and disposal are taken into account, which will be different to both households and retail stores. A Close the Glass Loop study on the HORECA sector showed that Romania ranks 2nd in terms of consumption of one-way glass per establishment.


How to create value for the glass that will remain outside of the DRS?

  • All food jars, as well as cosmetics and perfumery, will not be covered by the Deposit-Return System. These packaging materials will continue to be collected through the traditional municipal waste management system;
  • With the introduction of the DRS, the municipal waste management system will need to focus investments on the remaining packaging fractions;
  • It was clearly stated by the Glass Cullet Recycling Facilities operating in Romania that they are interested in all glass collection, both from the Deposit-Return System and municipal waste, and they are ready to work with both types of waste streams.


Intensify communications and awareness-raising on the value of glass recycling, especially in the context of Romania where the closed loop holds a huge potential:

  • There is a glass packaging manufacturing plant operating in Romania, which has ambitious plans to incorporate more glass cullet into its production process;
  • There is a dynamic glass recycling sector aiming at transforming waste glass into cullet ready to be used by the industry for a new production loop;
  • This means that the closed loop model can be a success story for Romania. In addition to the financial incentive citizens will get to return their empty containers, it will also be important to continue educating and raising awareness on the potential of glass packaging for the circular economy, in particular also for the local economy in Romania.


To wrap-up, we would like to thank all the speakers for their excellent contributions and their commitment to closing the glass loop in Romania!