The first-of-its-kind facility in Bulgaria, 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 on 11 November 2016 in the presence of Ivelina Vassileva, Minister of the Environment and Water, Yordanka Fandukova, Mayor of Sofia Municipality and Svetoslav Atanasov, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC and Chair of the Board of Directors of Ecopack Bulgaria. 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.
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 products sold 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 as a 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%).