The character has been devised by Feve, the European Container Glass Association, to spearhead its ‘word of mouth’ marketing and social networking campaign across the continent. It will appear in 14 European languages, which Feve claims makes it the most international campaign of its type in the packaging industry.
As Hank explains, glass packaging is 100% and endlessly recyclable; it always comes back to life in a new bottle or jar without any loss of quality. This means that, when glass reaches its ‘end of life’, most glass bottles or jars go back to the production cycle as substitutes for raw materials in a unique cradle-to-cradle recycling loop.
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In Europe, nearly 11 million tonnes (or 62%) of container glass were collected for recycling in 2007. The EU target for glass recycling of 60% was then exceeded. According to the available data for the 27 member states, 10 EU countries exceeded the 60% target which had to be reached in 2008 as required by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
“The 62% glass recycling rate is a great result, which includes data from the new member states where recycling is still in its infancy,” said Dominique Tombeur, president of Feve. “Now we want to focus on the huge, unexploited potential of the remaining 38% of glass packaging, which was put on the market but which isn’t yet being recycled. We hope Hank can help raise greater awareness about the importance of glass recycling, and we’ve created a new movement called ‘Friends of Glass’ to support his efforts.”
Up to 90% of waste glass can be used to manufacture new glass containers, the only limit being the quantity and quality of glass that’s collected. “It is of fundamental importance to improve glass recycling and to support proper recycling systems in Europe,” said Tombeur.
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