Frequently Asked Questions

The increasing ambition of European and national legislation to achieve recycling targets
of glass packaging waste and incorporation of recycled materials brings
new obligations and responsibilities. The recycling targets defined in the legislation
national – D.L. No 152-D/2017, of December 11, as amended – and European –
Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018,
position the Glass material at 70% in 2025 and 75% in 2030.
Glass packaging is an example of circular economy, with its qualities
ecological and its infinite recyclability that allows saving natural resources, reducing
also the energy consumption and emissions associated with its production process. All
glass packaging, once used, can give rise to new glass packaging,
in a closed and infinite cycle, without any loss of its unique characteristics,
also reducing CO2 emissions, when compared to production from
virgin raw material.
With the infrastructure already in place in Portugal, for more than 20 years, and the investment in
communication and awareness already carried out in favor of good recycling behavior,
is intended to reach further in the results and encourage the increase of collection rates
of used glass packaging, to close the recycling loop more effectively
of this material.
The more used glass containers are selectively collected, the greater your
incorporation in the production process of new packaging, because all packaging of
glass placed on the market could be recycled if it were collected.

The members of Vidro+ assume their commitment and engagement in the pursuit of the circular economy, on route to carbon neutrality, maximizing the circularity of glass packaging, through:

  • Prevent or reduce the impact of glass packaging and its waste on the environment;
  • To ensure the functioning of the internal market, with a balance between economic and environmental aspects;
  • Special focus on glass collections in the HORECA channel;
  • Capturing the glass potential that still exists in SGRU’s (Municipal Waste Management Systems), associated with consumers’ homes;
  • To focus strongly on improving the performance of SIGRE (Integrated System for Packaging Waste Management), with the combination of several specific measures, financially supported by the stakeholders with responsibility in the process, as well as by the commitment of the SGRU’s and the entire value chain;
  • Promote awareness and education activities, both for the HORECA channel and retailers, and for consumers, to increase quality recycling of this packaging material;
  • Maximize the incorporation of recycled glass in the production of new packaging.

With these challenges and in line with the vision of Glass+, the goal of “Collecting 90% of glass packaging placed on the market for recycling by 2030” is defined.

Promoting the circularity of glass packaging will require that the actors in the value chain align their processes and operations in a joint approach, defining strategies that can stimulate this circularity, in order to achieve gains in effectiveness in achieving the desired objectives. Vidro+ aims, therefore, to prevent or reduce the impact of glass packaging and its waste on the environment, ensuring the functioning of the internal market, with an economic and environmental balance of the system, the adaptation of the sector to the new rules, as well as the competitiveness of national companies, in a context of harmonization of the application of European legislation.

Vidro+ shapes the Portuguese Action Plan, of the European initiative “Close the Glass Loop”, which counts with FEVE (European Glass Packaging Federation) as one of the driving entities, which brings together different European organizations, of the life cycle of glass packaging, with the goal of collecting 90% of glass packaging placed on the market, by 2030, in an additional effort to consolidate the European circular economy, with the adoption of the European Green Agreement for sustainable growth. Glass has long been an example of circular economy, with its ecological characteristics and its infinite recyclability that allows to save natural resources while reducing energy consumption and emissions from its production process.

The initiative had as founding partners: European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), European Federation of Glass Recyclers (FERVER), Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW), spiritsEUROPE, Soft Drinks Europe (UNESDA), European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA), European Association of Food and Vegetable Processors (PROFEL), Producer Responsibility Organisations Packaging Alliance (PROsPA, represented by CITEO), ACR+, Eurocities and Municipal Waste Europe. There are twelve European federations representing glass packaging manufacturers, packers, municipalities, waste management operators, and others from different member states in a major movement to boost the collection of used glass packaging “for recycling”, united in a common goal. This movement comes as a proactive response to new EU rules to increase glass packaging recycling targets from 75% by 2030.

This European goal, with distinct approach strategies by country, according to their reality, is supported by the national Action Plans. Seven priority countries have been defined – UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland and Portugal, responsible for more than 80% of glass packaging still being recycled in the E.U. To ensure local implementation of measures and tailored solutions, the European platform will work directly with national partners. In Portugal, the Vidro+ platform will promote the increase of selective collection of used glass packaging for recycling.

It is a voluntary initiative of the most relevant economic agents in the glass packaging value chain (ACIBEV – Associação de Vinhos e Espirituosas de Portugal, AHRESP – Associação da Hotelaria, Restauração e Similares de Portugal, AIVE – Associação dos Industriais de Vidro de Embalagem, ANEBE – Associação Nacional de Empresas de Bebidas Espirituosas, APED – Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies, APIAM – Mineral and Spring Waters of Portugal, APCV – Portuguese Brewers Association, PROBEB – Portuguese Association of Non-Alcoholic Refreshing Beverages and SPV – Sociedade Ponto Verde) who recognize the need, to the extent of their competence and intervention, to see the following goal attained “Ensure by 2025, that 75% of all glass packaging placed on the market, is collected for recycling.

In order to achieve this goal, the value chain jointly assumes the commitment to adopt, in a collaborative and participative way, improvement measures in the scope of the SIGRE in operation, which aim to contribute to the improvement of the national performance, with an increase in the recycling rate of this material, embodied in the following lines of action:

Axis 1: Collection Service Level
Axis 2: Communication and Awareness
Axis 3: Complementary Flows
Axis 4: Financial Support of Waste Management

Portugal is the European country with the highest per capita production of glass, 18% above the European average, which immediately requires an industry with a productive and competitive capacity and with a strong exporting component, thus having an important weight for the country’s economy. The preponderance of Portuguese industry in the production of glass packaging for the domestic and export markets makes this waste one of the most desired materials for incorporation in the production of new glass packaging.

Glass packaging is the material that consumers separate the most, about which they have the least doubts when putting it in the ecoponto, and which they see as the most sustainable material. However, there have been difficulties in reaching the established recycling targets, having reached in 2019 a rate of 56.1%, clearly insufficient to reach 70% in 2025. These results are not at all related to the recycling capacity of used glass packaging that exists in our country through the manufacturers of such packaging. Even if in Portugal all the non-reusable glass packaging placed on the domestic market were recycled, there would always be a need to incorporate glass shells. However, the more that is recovered in the domestic market, the better for the industry, for the country’s economy, and for the environment.

The environmental advantages of recycling used glass containers are well known. The use of recycled glass (glass cullet) in the production of new packaging allows for the reduction of consumption of natural raw materials, the improvement of energy efficiency, and the reduction of emissions associated with the process.

By being part of Glass+, organizations show their interest and concern by contributing to finding joint solutions to this challenge. Only with the commitment of all stakeholders, will it be possible to accelerate the change processes and consequently achieve the goals. The Government’s support in this initiative is therefore of great importance.

To ensure a holistic approach, a collaborative effort is required from all actors in the glass packaging value chain, from producers, packers, and those who make glass packaging available on the market (brands, retailers, and the hospitality channel), to those who collect their waste (used packaging), such as local and municipal authorities, recyclers, management entities, and consumers (citizens and businesses). Government entities, Associations, NGOs, and Academia may also participate in Glass+, as they also have a relevant role.

All members have a commitment to the vision and purpose of Vidro+ (in a direct or indirect way).

The governance of Vidro+ will be supported by the following structure:

  • Coordinator (Associação Smart Waste Portugal) – an independent organization that promotes dialogue and collaboration among the members of the Platform. Its responsibilities include the implementation of Vidro+; Roadmap execution; Objectives monitoring and reporting; Working Group coordination; External communication; Budget management.
  • Advisory Board – is a committee of Vidro+ (consisting of up to 18 entities), which monitors the progress of the initiative, produces recommendations and strategic guidelines for the Coordinator and defines the Roadmap. It is composed of a set of representative entities of the national packaging glass value chain, selected by the Coordinator and voted by the Glass+ Members. Also on the Advisory Board is a Critical Friend. The Advisory Board meets quarterly and will have two-year terms.

  • Critical Friend
    – is a Non-Governmental Organization, and its objective is to create the necessary impartiality for the Platform, through a vision independent of economic interests. It is an entity belonging to the Advisory Board.
  • Advisory Committee – is an advisory body, composed of sector associations relevant to the results of the Platform, which monitors its development. The Advisory Board meets every four months, and is coordinated by an Association suggested by the Coordinator, for a period of 2 years. Its conclusions and recommendations are communicated to the Coordinator.
  • Scientific Committee – is a scientific advisory body, composed of universities and research centers, which follows the development of Vidro+, being responsible for the scientific quality of the deliverables presented. The Scientific Committee meets every six months, and is coordinated by a University suggested by the Coordinator, for a period of 2 years. Its conclusions and recommendations are communicated to the Coordinator.
  • Working Groups – the working groups (WG) are composed of members of the Platform, and their mission is to discuss and find solutions to specific problems associated with the scope of Vidro+ and its objectives (e.g. glass collection, contribution to recycling targets, awareness raising, etc.). These Working Groups are validated by the Advisory Board. Its conclusions and recommendations are communicated to the Coordinator, integrating them into the Roadmap 2025.
  • Members of Vidro+ – all entities that subscribe to the vision of Vidro+ and commit themselves to developing efforts (individually and collectively) to achieve the objectives of the Platform. The Members meet in plenary every six months. There are two types of Members:
    • Effective Members – are entities that actively participate in Vidro+, contributing to the achievement of the Platform’s objective. They are associated with the Vidro+ communication materials and actively participate in the working groups. According to the characteristics of each entity, there will be an annual fee. Only Effective Members have the right to vote in the governing bodies of Plataforma Vidro+.
    • Institutional Members – these are entities that support and accompany the development of Vidro+ and contribute indirectly towards achieving the Platform’s objective. Institutional Members of Vidro+ do not need to pay an annual membership fee. Institutional Members can only participate in 2 working groups. Institutional Members are Associations, Universities and Research Centers, Governmental Entities and Non-Governmental Organizations.

Joining the Vidro+ platform can be done at any time.

The Vidro+ platform will have six working groups (to be validated by the Advisory Board), which aim to work towards achieving the proposed objectives:

  • Roadmap 2030;
  • HORECA Channel
  • Municipalities / SGRU’s;
  • Consumer Awareness;
  • Innovation and development of Recycling processes.

The Working Groups are coordinated by different entities proposed by the Coordinator, in a rotating format. Vidro+ is a dynamic initiative, following the evolutions and innovations of the container glass value chain. In this sense, there is always the possibility, if justified, of creating new working groups to address other challenges and opportunities in the value chain. Vidro+ members may, at any time, suggest the creation of new working groups, which will be evaluated and validated by the Advisory Board.

The Smart Waste Portugal Association (ASWP) was founded in 2015 by the main Portuguese entities linked to waste, industry and academia, in order to coordinate and promote the national strategy for the sector, promoting cooperation, internationalization and business of its members. Since its foundation, the association has grown exponentially, and is currently recognized nationally and internationally as the main representative entity of the Portuguese business strategy for the circular economy.

Currently, the association has more than 140 associates representing, mainly, companies, the scientific and academic community, public entities, and associations. ASWP has supported Central Government and Regional and Local Administrations in defining and implementing their strategies for the transition to a circular economy. It has formed several working groups with its associates to explore the highest priority issues and has focused on raising awareness of its action points among the business community. Additionally, it has also invested in the dynamization of inter-sector relations, knowledge transfer, and the internationalization of its associates.

The platform will be launched in 2022, the International Year of Glass (IYOG2022), on May 24th, in an event to be held in “The Century” Room, at the premises of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action. This will be the first opportunity for companies and stakeholders to indicate their support and receive public recognition for their adherence to such a relevant topic as the Circular Economy.

Vidro+ has to be financed in order to have a dedicated team to coordinate, monitor activities, promote communication, and provide support to its Members. All Effective Members make an annual financial contribution to belong to the Platform and – receive the benefits provided by the Platform. This constitutes the main funding of the initiative. The Smart Waste Portugal Association is actively seeking funding from Portuguese government research sources, as well as from funds and foundations.

The Advisory Board should review the annual budget proposal submitted by the Coordinator at the beginning of each year and develop the final budget. The annual budget will be presented to the Vidro+ Members in plenary session.

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