Ireland in European Top Ten for Glass Recycling

30th September 2013

Ireland is ranked one of the best in Europe for glass recycling, that is according to Rehab Glassco – Ireland’s largest glass recycling company.  European figures show that Ireland now ranks tenth in the EU with a glass recycling rate of 81.20%, well above the EU average of 70%* while domestic figures released by Rehab Glassco to mark Repak Recycling Week (30 Sept – 6 October), support this trend with a slight increase in the rate of glass recycling this year.  Belgium leads the way in Europe with a glass recycling rate of 98.65%.

In the first eight months of 2013, on average 41 glass bottles and jars were recycled per head of population, this is up on an average of 40 in the same period in 2012. In the period from 1 Jan – 31 August 2013, Rehab Glassco facilitated the collection and recycling of over  242 million bottles and jars and cans. These statistics indicate that recycling habits continue to improve, while anecdotal evidence would suggest that consumption is also on the rise.

Galway city dwellers are the top recyclers for the third year running with deposits of 54 bottles or jars for every man, woman and child in the city. The people of Leitrim are the next best recyclers with an average each of 53 items of glass recycled per person. For the third year running, Tesco Ardkeen in Waterford city is the busiest Rehab Glassco bring site with 278 tonnes of glass deposited there so far this year.

David Farrelly, Rehab Glassco said, “These figures show that recycling is now part of the routine for households. This is evident throughout the network of bring banks that we provide across the country. We have met and exceeded the EU targets and this was made possible by everyone from households to businesses to recycling operators like ourselves at Rehab Glassco working together to achieve the high standard.”

Facts about glass recycling:
• Glass is one of the easiest products to recycle
• For every tonne of recycled glass used in the manufacture of new glass, 1.2 tonnes of raw materials are preserved
• If all the glass collected by Rehab Glassco were laid end-to-end, it would stretch for a distance of 73,000kms! The power saved by using this quantity of recycled glass instead of using raw materials is enough to power over 600,000 light bulbs every day for one year
• Glass is 100 per cent recyclable and can be endlessly recycled with no loss in quality, i.e. it can be recycled forever
• Up to 90 per cent of new glass can be made from recycled glass and most bottles and jars contain at least 25 per cent recycled glass
• On average an Irish family consumes the contents of around 500 glass bottles and jars each year

Darrell Crowe, Head of Sales and Marketing, Repak said: “We are delighted with the figures that show that Irish people are recycling more glass. The theme for Repak Recycling Week this year is ‘Recycle Better’ and we would encourage people who are using brings banks to make sure that they are recycling correctly. This includes not putting materials such as Pyrex dishes in the bins, and to make sure that the correct colour glass goes in the correct container

Rehab Glassco continues to lead the way in glass recycling in Ireland providing over 1,800 collection points in 24 local authority areas. Almost 76,000 tonnes of glass collected by Rehab Glassco so far in 2013 has beem recycled at its state-of-the-art facility in Naas, Co. Kildare.

*FEVE The European Container Federation: More than 70% of glass bottles and jars collected for recycling in the EU

Notes to Editor:

Recycling figures for 1 January – 31 August 2013 are based on a Rehab Glassco survey covering 24 local authorities throughout the country where Rehab Glassco had a public bring bank presence.
Rehab Glassco

Formed in December 2009 following the merger of Rehab Recycle’s glass recycling division and Glassco Recycling, a glass recycling facility in Co. Kildare, Rehab Glassco is part of Rehab Enterprises, Ireland’s largest single non-government employer of people with disabilities. Rehab Enterprises currently provides integrated employment for 195 people with disabilities in 21 locations nationwide. To find out more about Rehab Glassco visit

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