6 July 2023

Close the Glass Loop’s First In-Person Gathering Assembles Close to 100 Glass Professionals for Annual Event

The #PavingTheWayTo90 Annual Event brought together professionals who are committed to our platform's goal of achieving a 90% glass collection rate for recycling by 2030. Participants had the valuable opportunity to attend thought-provoking panel discussions, deepen their understanding of Close the Glass Loop's ambition and perspective, and interact with representatives of our National Platforms. They explored various booths, gaining valuable insights into local initiatives that foster glass collection and recycling.



For the first time since the launch of Close the Glass Loop in June 2020, the community of glass collection and recycling professionals met in person in Renaissance Hotel in Brussels on the 29th of June 2023 to reaffirm their joint commitment to reaching an EU-wide average of 90% glass collection for recycling by 2030. That is what Paving the Way to 90 was all about.

At the event, attendees heard from the key policy-maker on the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, engaged in two high-level value chain panels discussing the necessary policies for closed-loop glass packaging recycling and the measures taken by the value chain to ensure a greater amount of glass packaging is recycled into new bottles and jars, visited the booths of the National Platforms, where they had the opportunity to meet glass experts who answered all their questions about the local aspects of glass collection and recycling and received comprehensive information about Close the Glass Loop’s priorities and perspective.


Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, the Director of Circular Economy at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV), took the floor as the first speaker, delivering a captivating keynote speech titled “Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation: state-of-play and expectations.”

During his address, Ciobanu-Dordea emphasized the significant role played by the Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation in driving the adoption of sustainable practices for glass packaging. The regulation not only encourages businesses to incorporate recycled content in their glass packaging but also promotes the development of eco-friendly packaging designs. Additionally, it supports various initiatives aimed at increasing the recycling rates of glass.

In essence, the Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation stands as a pivotal piece of legislation that contributes to our collective efforts to #CloseTheGlassLoop.


The first panel, titled “Long-term investment or quick fixes: what’s the right policy for glass packaging collection & recycling?”, featured a lineup of speakers who brought diverse perspectives on the topic. The panel included:

  • Francoise Bonnet, Secretary General, ACR+
  • Nicholas Hodac, Director General, UNESDA – Soft Drinks Europe
  • Jean Hornain, CEO, Citeo
  • Ulrich Ix, President, FERVER – European Federation of Glass Recyclers

Collectively, the panelists emphasized the urgency of meeting ambitious recycling targets and underscored the significance of long-term investments in collection infrastructure, education, and awareness-raising. Their insightful discussions shed light on the multifaceted nature of the challenges faced in glass packaging collection and recycling, emphasizing the need for sustainable and forward-thinking policies.


The second panel, titled “Is there a limit to a closed loop?”, brought together three knowledgeable speakers who delved into the topic:

  • Sandra Santos, CEO, BA GLASS
  • Constantin Damov, Co-founder & Chairman, GreenGroup
  • Trinidad Márquez García, Technical Director, Federación Española del Vino (FEV)

During the panel discussion, the speakers tackled important questions related to optimizing the closed-loop recycling of glass packaging through product design. They also explored how glass container furnaces are adapting to incorporate more recycled glass and examined technological advancements in the sorting and processing of recycled glass that can enhance the use of recycled content in new bottles and jars.

The expertise of these speakers provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with closing the loop in glass recycling, offering potential solutions and innovative approaches to maximize the sustainability of glass packaging.

Vanessa Chesnot, Head of Public Affairs and Product Policy at FEVE, concluded the event by taking the floor to address the glass packaging value chain professionals. Her presentation focused on providing the latest updates on the work of Close the Glass Loop platform, delving into its mission and perspective.

As part of her address, Vanessa took the opportunity to share the 2021 results of glass collection for recycling rates, which are traditionally presented once a year. For those who hadn’t seen the results yet, she directed them to check them out at the provided link.

Moreover, Vanessa presented a new study on the performance of packaging glass recycling in Europe. The study, based on a unique survey conducted among operators within the membership of FERVER – European Federation of Glass Recyclers and FEVE – the European Container Glass Federation, provided insights into the inputs and outputs of glass recycling. Covering 17 countries and representing more than half of the available glass collected for recycling in 2019, the study offered valuable information. The study can be accessed at the provided link.

For those interested in learning more about the updated information regarding Close the Glass Loop, Vanessa’s presentation was made available for download below, allowing everyone to delve deeper into the details and stay informed about the platform’s progress.


During the coffee break and after the conclusion of the program, participants had the opportunity to directly engage with representatives from our national platforms. This provided a valuable chance for attendees to learn more about local practices, priorities, and ambitions concerning glass collection and recycling. They were able to ask questions, seek clarification, and gain deeper insights into the specific initiatives and goals of each national platform. This direct access facilitated fruitful discussions and fostered a better understanding of the diverse approaches and strategies employed at the local level to promote glass recycling and achieve sustainability objectives.


To wrap up the event on a lighthearted note, participants engaged in a Slido quiz that allowed them to put their knowledge of glass to the test. The quiz provided an entertaining way for attendees to showcase their expertise in the field. The top performers were recognized for their achievement and awarded specially designed Close the Glass Loop baseball hats. These unique mementos will serve as a lasting memory of the event and the participants’ active involvement in promoting glass recycling and sustainability.


In conclusion, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the attendees for their active participation and valuable contributions to this remarkable event. Your presence and engagement have made it a truly exceptional gathering of professionals dedicated to advancing glass collection and recycling. For those who were unable to join us this year, we sincerely hope to have the opportunity to connect with you in the future. We eagerly anticipate the possibility of seeing each other next year!