Because it meets customer needs while conserving natural resources for future generations, glass recycling fits perfectly with a sustainable development approach. Clearly a process of the future, glass recycling nonetheless has strong historical roots: European countries have been recycling glass for many years, and selective sorting has become a commonplace and accepted practice.
A Fully and Endlessly Recyclable Product
Glass has intrinsic qualities making it a high environmental performer. Fully recyclable means just that – a used bottle can be utilized to manufacture a new bottle – an endless glass recycling cycle in which nothing is lost in terms of both quality and quantity. Combined with all its other properties, "recyclability" is, therefore, the perfect word to describe glass.
The Ecological Advantages of Glass Recycling
The following are the main ecological advantages of using cullet in the glassmaking process :
- Energy savings, since the collected glass melts at a lower temperature than raw natural products, and so more easily and faster;
- Less CO2 emitted into the atmosphere;
- Less consumption of natural resources, as the cullet replaces the raw materials (silica sand, limestone and sodium carbonate) used in the composition of glass. Each metric ton of cullet used reduces the amount of unexploited raw materials used by 1.2 metric tons;
- Less waste and maximum recovery of household waste avoiding its disposal in landfills or incinerators..
Glassmaker's main raw material, cullet – glass from selective collection and reused as part of the composition of new glass –accounts for up to 95 percent of
the raw material used to manufacture glass in our furnaces.
Verallia's Recycling Policy
We have made recycling one of the fundamental priorities of our environmental policy. Most of our plants recycling all of their glassmaking waste and, wherever possible, accept cullet from external sources. We have also invested in 8 cullet treatment centers (one of them is under construction in Spain) where used glass is sorted, freed of its impurities, and crushed to make clean cullet that is ready to be turned into new glass.
In South America, we promote the concept of glass collection and recycling based upon the model already well-established in Western Europe.
To raise consumer awareness about the important of recycling, we conduct outreach programs both on our own and in partnership with trade organizations (glass industry associations).
- European Glass Container Federation: www.feve.org