Strategies toward a circular economy for glass materials and products

18 October 2022
14:00 - 15:00
Recordings can be found in our knowledge base (for members only)

Edda Rädlein*, (TU Ilmenau | Germany)

Strategies toward a circular economy for glass materials and products

If we aim at achieving a circular economy, we must be able to provide strategies for the reuse of glass products, for maintenance and increase high material recycling quotas and be open to new technologies. Germany’s well-established returnable bottle system is an almost perfect example of product recycling, albeit in a small segment for certain beverages. On the other hand, recycling non-packaging glass is tremendously far from closed cycles.

The glass packaging market has grown slowly but successfully despite the concurrence of PET and other plastics. Producers will struggle with even higher energy prices and introduce an increasing share of renewable energies. Consumers are aware of glass being one way out of the increasing amount of packaging waste. Which future tasks result from this situation?

Three main topics arise for container glass:

  • less one-way packaging
  • more returnable packaging
  • innovative strategies for collection and sorting

Knowledge of the best practice examples is to be transferred to non-container glasses.

An overview of the status quo of demands is given to trigger the contribution of more ideas and impetus for glass recycling.



Edda Rädlein for her webinar with GlassTrend on Strategies towards circular economy for glass materials and products
About Edda Rädlein
Edda Rädlein was born in 1960 in Gereuth (Germany) and grew up in Sonnefeld. She started her studies in physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen Nürnberg. In 1985, she received her diploma for her atmospheric binary stars, astronomy studies in Bamberg and Trieste and graduated with her PhD in radiation defects in glass and glass ceramics in 1991.  1999 was the year of her habilitation on scanning probe microscopy. Between 2001-2006 she was the scientific coordinator of the research group WOPAG at the Universität Bayreuth. In 2005, she became adjunct professor at TU Clausthal. Since 2007 she is the head of Group for Inorganic-Nonmetallic Materials and since 2008 she is a full professor at TU Ilmenau. Still at TU Ilmenau, she was an equal opportunity officer between 2015 – 2020. She is currently
  • vice director of the inter-departmental Institute for Material Engineering.
  • co-Chair of the Technical Committee I “Physics and Chemistry of Glasses” of DGG (Deutsche Glastechnische Gesellschaft e.V.)
  • member of the council of DGG
She gives lectures on material science, biomedical engineering, biotechnical chemistry, mechanical engineering, optical systems engineering, automotive engineering, and renewable energy engineering. Glass scientist, research topics from history, material development, production, processing to recycling. Special topics:
  1. reactions on surfaces and coatings
  2. micro- and nanostructuring
  3. phase separation in glasses