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Unprecedented demand for recycled glass

Post Time:Mar 23,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:472

The Glass Packaging Forum is challenging claims that “glass along with other recyclables holds no value”.

John Webber, General Manager says that reports in some media are misleading and inaccurate:-

“We don’t know where they are getting their information. Fact is there is an unprecedented demand for good quality glass. New Zealand's only glass manufacturer O-I NZ is looking to increase its volume of recovered glass by 70,000 tonnes with a $83 million investment in a new furnace in Auckland.”

“To say that the value of glass is “worthless” as has been reported is simply not true. On the contrary, there is a healthy market for good quality recovered glass wherever it is sourced in New Zealand. Those quoted seem to be making a point about the waste levy but the levy has no bearing on the issue as glass does not need to go to landfill.”

“It may be that people are still thinking back three years when we didn’t have enough uses for glass, the problem now is not being able to recover sufficient good quality cullet for glass making in New Zealand.”

It is better for the economy and the environment to use recycled glass in making new glass containers because glass cullet requires significantly less energy to be melted and produces much fewer emissions than using raw materials:-
* Over a tonne (around 1.15 tonnes) of natural resources are conserved for every tonne of glass recycled;
* Energy costs drop about 1-2% for every 10% cullet used in the manufacturing process; and
* For every six tonnes of recycled glass used, a tonne of CO2 is reduced.

“For glass which does not meet the quality required to make new glass containers because it has been contaminated through commingling in the collection process, there are many other uses. These include roading, building slabs and pathways which the Glass Packaging Forum is actively supporting through its voluntary levy,” says Webber.

The Glass Packaging Forum has committed $0.5 million dollars to fund research, operations and education in the past 12 months as part of its mandate to increase glass recycling.

In terms of other recyclables, Paul Curtis, Executive Director of the Packaging Council recently reported that:

“Whilst commodity prices undoubtedly put pressure on some recycling operations, markets for clean, uncontaminated, well sorted materials are holding up well given the current economic climate.”

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Source: Glass Packaging Forum Author: shangyi

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