The first-of-its-kind facility in this country sorting glass waste by color, upgraded thanks to a BGN 2.5 million investment by ECOPACK Bulgaria, has the capacity to process 100 tons of glass packaging per day.
The Ravno Pole facility was officially opened today in the presence of Ivelina Vassileva, Minister of the Environment and Water, and Yordanka Fandukova, Mayor of Sofia Municipality. Minister Vassileva stressed the benefits for the environment from this investment and more notably, reduced amount of glass packaging waste going to landfills, reduced use of natural resources in the production of new packaging, saved electricity and harmful emissions.
“MOEW will continue to support investments related to green ideas, green thinking, and the green economy,” said Minister Vassileva, thanking the municipalities and business community for the excellent cooperation.
Also in attendance at the official opening were Svetoslav Atanasov, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC and Chair of the Board of Directors of Ecopack Bulgaria, and Krasimir Zhivkov, Deputy Minister of the Environment and Water.
The investment in new technologies has doubled the capacity of the facility and has reduced by half the level of contaminants in the ready raw material. It guarantees higher quality and allows automated color sorting of the glass. “This is good news for the recycling plants in Bulgaria, as well as for the manufacturers of productssold in glass containers – they will receive cleaner raw material and hence, higher-quality packaging,” said Todor Bourgoudjiev, Executive Director of ECOPACK Bulgaria, further stressing that “the effective management of the separate waste collection system allows investing in modern technologies”. The upgraded facility has the capacity to sort half of all the glass packaging put in circulation on the Bulgarian market.
Such an investment was also necessitated by the established higher quality standards for glass cullet to be classified asa secondary raw material. Furthermore, in the past three years, ECOPACK Bulgaria clients have reported an overall 30% increase in glass packaging as set against only 15% increase in all other types of packaging in circulation. Last but not least, the EC Circular Economy Package proposes increasing glass recycling targets to 75% by 2025 (the current target is 60%).
Glass is the only material that is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly. Sorting it by color will make the recycling process more efficient. But ultimately this can only happen with the committed involvement of the people who dispose of used glass containers (jars and bottles) in the designated green containers.
The cost of separate collection, sorting, and recycling of glass packaging is already included in the end price of the packaged products.
Find out more about glass packaging recycling in this video.