Glass Has Stellar Environmental Credentials - Brits Need to Know

A new independent pan-European survey, commissioned by Friends of Glass, has found that despite glass being one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly forms of packaging on the planet, there are still too many people in the UK who are not fully aware of its stellar environmental credentials.

Despite being 100% and endlessly recyclable, the survey reveals that while the majority (64%) of people in the UK understand that glass is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of packaging, over one third of the population are still in the dark.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Nick Kirk, technical director of British Glass, which runs the Friends of Glass campaign in the UK says:“Used glass is a brilliant resource that can go on making new glass bottles and jars over and over again.”

“The findings of the survey are promising. The majority of people know glass is an environmentally friendly form of packaging.

“But the message that all glass packaging can be recycled is still not being understood by some, mostly younger, consumers.

“By recycling glass, consumers are helping to reduce CO² emissions and save energy. Recycled glass melts at lower temperatures than virgin raw materials so less fuel is needed to make new glass packaging.”

The findings of the survey also reveal that 60% of UK consumers worry about chemicals leaching from packaging into the environment or food and drink. The survey showed that 44% of the population realise that glass is the safest packaging option for food and 64% think it is best for beverages.

As concerns about the environment and health continue, 9 out of 10 consumers expect companies to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues. In response, the British glass manufacturing industry is continually investing in improving energy-efficiency and minimising the environmental impact, as well as seeking ways to improve glass recycling rates.

Nick Kirk concludes:

“Glass recycling is on the rise in the UK, growing by 139% in the past 15 years, but we still need to see further improvement.

“Educating younger people is key to driving up recycling rates. They are not as aware as the older generations about the sustainable credentials of glass packaging.“



For further information, please contact

Debra Pieri on 07801 545462

Notes to Editors

About the Friends of Glass Survey; This Europe-wide survey was conducted in 11 EU `countries: Germany, France, Italy, UK, Spain, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland, from 28 November to 14 December 2016.

The purpose was to measure the evolution of consumers’ perception and usage of glass packaging since a similar study was undertaken in 2014. Overall, 17,377 Europeans were surveyed.

The survey included a first sample size of 13,054 Europeans between 25-65 years old, with a focus on women (75% of surveyed consumers). All participants are (co)responsible for household grocery shopping. The second sample size included 4,323 Europeans between 16-24 years old.

For further results, see national scorecards on

About Friends of Glass

Friends of Glass started in 2008 as an awareness campaign for glass packaging. It was created by FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation, an international not-for-profit association representing glass packaging for food and drink, flacons for perfumery, pharmacy and cosmetics and glass tableware makers. Friends of Glass unites a community of people from different countries in Europe and beyond who are convinced that glass is an ideal packaging material because of its unique environmental, economic and family-friendly benefits. Individuals, national organizations, agencies and companies that believe in the sustainability credentials of glass are also proud members of the community.

About British Glass

The British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation represents the interests of all sectors of the glass industry in the UK. Its main activity is in representing the industry at European, national and local level on a wide range of topical legislative issues. It also conducts independent research into all aspects of glass production and technology.