FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation, said overall production in the region last year was 21.7m tonnes, against 20.8m tonnes in 2010.
Taking into account market diversification and lightweighting, the association estimated that more than 50bn units were produced in Europe at 160 plants.
Production was up in each the three largest glass producers in the bloc. France’s output rose 5% to 3.3m tonnes, while Germany registered a 7% jump to just over 4m tonnes. Production in Italy climbed just 1.8% to just over 3.5m tonnes.
In the UK, volumes fell 0.8% to 2.3m tonnes – but this was still 150,000 tonnes up on 2006 levels. Turkey saw a healthy rise in 2011 with output increasing 5% to 822,000 tonnes.
The figures include production of container glass not only for food and beverages but also perfumery, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.
“The year 2011 marked a strong recovery of the industry production volumes to satisfy an increasing local demand but also a rise of exports outside Europe,” said FEVE president Stefan Jaenecke.
He added that glass was increasing able to stand its ground against rival materials that have in recent years taken large bits out of glass’ market share.
“This clearly confirms that the industry is a very stable economic reality in Europe, notwithstanding increasing competition from other materials and an unclear economic framework,” said Jaenecke.