Ecovidrio, a non-profit organisation responsible for the management of glass packaging waste recycling in Spain, has submitted the project “Glass: 100% recyclable, 100% sustainable, 100% ready for the future” for European recovery funds. The 13 initiatives included in the plan aim to digitise the glass packaging waste value chain, maximise the use of glass as a resource, ensure effective and efficient operations and further advance the decarbonisation of operations.

Ecovidrio, as the entity with ultimate responsibility for the process in Spain, assumes the leadership and commitments of the entire sector. The project would have a strategic impact on more than 200 waste collection companies, 17 treatment plants and 13 glassworks. The benefits associated with the implementation of the measures would have a direct impact on public authorities and citizens.

To highlight some initiatives, the use of monitoring technology to analyse the filling level of glass collection containers in real time, which would allow collection routes to be optimised on an ongoing basis, thus reducing their environmental impact, is of strategic importance. Big Data would also be integrated to facilitate decision-making and design strategies, as well as campaigns aimed at maximising glass recycling.

This project would make it possible to move towards the zero-waste target, maximise the use of glass and increase recycling rates through measures aimed at increasing the efficiency of recycling plants.

With respect to improving the sustainability of operations, an area that Ecovidrio has been addressing for years, the report presents proposals that would accelerate market preparation for a wider electrification of the heavy-duty glass collection fleet and the implementation of efficient driving systems. Ecovidrio estimates that CO2 emissions could be reduced by 70,000 tonnes per year, in addition to the reductions envisaged in its current collection plan, which includes gradual renewal of the fleet.

The project would also enable more rapid progress in the recyclability of containers and greater incorporation of recycled materials into their manufacture.