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Glass industry acts to keep bottle banks going

Post Time:Jul 07,2008Classify:Industry NewsView:394

THE glass industry will step into the breach created when New Reclamation Group subsidiary Enviroglass stopped collecting glass for recycling in order to focus on its core business — recycling of scrap metal.

The glass industry, together with The Glass Recycling Company , a non profit organisation started by companies in the glass industry, has acted on the issue of glass banks that have not been emptied, and contingency plans are in place, says Consol Group MD Mike Arnold.

Consol is a shareholder in The Glass Recycling Company .

Enviroglass has given its permission for its banks to be taken over and serviced, and has made vehicles available to the industry for rental to service the glass banks.

So far, about 500 bottle banks in Gauteng and 300 in Western Cape have been identified and divided into regions for emptying and cleaning.

Glass lying outside the banks is also being removed.

Arnold says The Glass Recycling Company has notified Consol of critical sites that need immediate attention based on complaints to the call centre.

The gap is not expected to affect glass industry use as the shortage experienced last year has been resolved.

South African Breweries (SAB) says it does not expect to be affected by Reclam’s move. Communications manager Janine Van Stolk says most of its sales are through returnable bottles.

SAB is also a stakeholder in the The Glass Recycling Company. About 95% of its beer is sold in glass — about 80% of which is in returnable bottles.

While the accumulation of glass at bottle banks could have an adverse effect on the environment, industry has been swift to address the issue and most of the backlog has already been cleared, Van Stolk says.

In the long term, a plan to fill the gap left by Reclam and Enviroglass will be worked out by the glass industry and The Glass Recycling Company, says Consol’s Arnold.

He says Enviroglass’s no longer servicing the bins will affect the environment more than it will industry, but hot spots have been identified and cleared.

“Consol is more concerned about the image of recycling in the minds of the South African public — a population that still needs to fully embrace recycling as a way of life.”

Consol makes use of broken glass as a raw material to manufacture glass. For every ton of broken glass used Consol saves 1,2 tons of raw materials. The company’s new Clayville number four furnace came online this April, and will add 90000 tons, or 12%, of good glass a year to production.

Consol is still committed to building a new glassworks plant in Gauteng to be commissioned in October next year, taking its total glass production to more than 1-million tons a year, or 4-billion containers.

Meanwhile, the government says it will not act against Enviroglass for pulling out of its bottle-recycling business as the glass industry has stepped in to fill the void.

Mava Scott, acting chief director of communication at the environmental affairs and tourism department, says there is no “requirement to act against any waste contractor”.

The Glass Recycling Company shareholders include:

  • Consol
  • Nampak Wiegand Glass
  • KWV SA
  • Nestle
  • Paarlvallei Bottelering Maatskappy
  • Coca-Cola Fortune
  • Coca-Cola SA
  • Peninsula Beverage Company
  • Scarlet Ibis Investment 3
  • Diageo SA
  • Distell
  • The South African Breweries
  • Tiger Brands Limited
  • Appeltiser SA
  • Breeriviervallei Bottelerings Koöperasie Beperk
  • Ceres Fruit Juices
  • DGB
  • Edward Snell and Company
  • The Company of Wine People

Source: businessday.co.zaAuthor: admin

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