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General information

In the mid-1980s, for the first time, the European Union introduced measures to manage packaging waste. Directive 85/339/EEC established rules relating to production, marketing, use, recycling and refilling of containers of liquids as well as the disposal of packaging waste.

To address the different environmental impacts of packaging and packaging waste, certain Member States have started introducing measures regarding this issue. As a result, divergent national policies have appeared; a situation harmonized at the European level. Thus, the directive 94/62/ EC was adopted in order for national measures regarding the management of packaging and packaging waste and the prevention or minimization of the consequences for the environment to be harmonized. 

The transposition of the Directive into national legislation was adopted under Law 2939/2001, which set out general rules regarding alternative management of packaging waste, the rules for all the participating bodies that are obligated to manage packaging waste, the terms and conditions concerning alternative management of packaging and packaging waste, the conditions of approval and operation of alternative management packaging systems and the principal goals of recovery and recycling of packaging waste at the national level. (Source: 

Since then, have been many legislative amendments, which developed the contemporary requirements and the “alternative management of packaging and other products”, increasing the percentage of recycling that has to be achieved in order to keep pace with the European Directives. 

Packages are segregated according to their materials in: a) glass, b) plastic, c) paper, d) metal (aluminum, tinplate), which are the most frequent packages. There are also the e) synthetic, f) wooden and g) mixed. 

The production of one tonne of glass requires a great amount of power as well as natural raw materials. This requires the drilling of the soil. 

It should be noted here that glass is not able to decompose. This means that, if we left a glass bottle on a beach and visited the same place after 800 years, for example, we would find the glass bottle intact, almost the same as we had left it. 

On the other hand, if we manage to recycle the glass packaging and we use it as raw material: 

  • we could save natural raw materials,
  • we could use less energy to recreate glass and
  • we could reduce the amount of waste sent to the sanitary landfills and their lifespan will be increased.

It is noteworthy that the glass can be recycled over and over again without any diminution in quality. So, in this way we can ensure that the necessary raw materials will be available and usable for a long time in order for new glass packaging to be made.

Therefore, “source separation” must be applied effectively by citizens. This means that citizens should separate their waste according to its material which should be cleaned and discarded separately in the appropriate bin.

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Every day materials

Glass containers

How to save/ reuse

Glass vials (bottles) do not interact with their content and, therefore, are considered the safest option for storing liquids.
Glass bottles should be cleaned as described below, before assessing whether they can be used to store more liquids, or reused in any other way. If they are found to be non-reusable, they may be discarded in the “blue bells” or other future options.

Where to recycle

Proper recycling bin

How to recycle

Glass containers (clear-green-brown-blue etc) should be completely emptied from their contents, before being rinsed thoroughly with water. Both the original contents, and the rinsing water, should be emptied in the sink. Once empty and clean, the glass containers should be carefully discarded into a separate collection bin, exclusively for glass. (‘blue bells’ or other future options).
For further information, please visit ‘external links and files’.

Recycling map

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