Michel Giannuzzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Verallia Group – one of Europe’s leading glass packaging manufacturers for the food and beverage sector, has been elected as President of the European Container Glass Federation, succeeding Johan Gorter, CEO of Ardagh Glass Europe.
Commenting on his new role, Mr Giannuzzi said, “Our industry has a unique opportunity right now: as packaging is under scrutiny by consumers for its sustainability and healthy credentials. The glass industry is perfectly positioned to respond to customer and regulatory requirements leveraging the benefits of the Circular Economy.”
Today, some 80 billion bottles, jars and flacons are supplied annually to the global food and beverage industry as well as to fragrance, cosmetics and pharma markets. Glass packaging is easily and infinitely recyclable.In the last fifteen years, glass recycling has increased by 139 percent throughout Europe. Some 1.5 million bottle banks are available across the region and an average of 74 percent of Europe’s glass is collected for recycling, demonstrating the success of the dedicated glass recycling scheme introduced in Europe in the 1970s. These numbers also underline the commitment of the glass industry to attain aggressive recycling rates.
Mr Giannuzzi added, “As we move towards a more sustainable future, we have a great opportunity to continue innovating glass production. We are determined to further reduce our industry’s environmental footprint, increase quantity and quality of recycled glass and continue to design new packaging solutions that provide value to our customers and their brands.” He concluded, “In my role as President, building on the excellent job done by my colleague Johan Gorter, I want to convey enthusiasm and energy, and further promote sustainability goals, technology innovation, customer proximity and consumer engagement.”
The industry invests every year at least than 600 EUR million in its 160 manufacturing plants and research facilities across Europe to modernize production, further reduce emissions, increase recycled content and reduce weight of the glass containers. Today, glass containers are on average 30 percent lighter than 20 years ago, while maintaining and even improving their product qualities, recyclability, and innovative design.
In addition, Vitaliano Torno, President of O-I Europe, has been elected Vice-President of FEVE. He said, “Our customers thrive on glass as the most sustainable packaging solution. Led by the knowledge and ambition of our industry’s employees, we are innovating to help our customers build their precious and renowned brands and become valued partners as well as sustainable producers. I am determined to move the glass industry forward and promote the benefits of glass.”
The industry is also continuously increasing its communication efforts to inform and educate consumers, regulators and other stakeholders about the numerous benefits of glass packaging, and the fundamental role of packaging in protecting end-consumer products. The Friends of Glass platform on www.friendsofglass.com reaches out to millions of consumers around the Globe.