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Demand for good glass will continue to increase

Post Time:Mar 31,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:448

Demand for good quality non contaminated recovered glass will continue to increase

The Glass Packaging Forum says that rumors of a demise in the glass recycling market have been misleading and inaccurate and welcomes new reports which are addressing the facts.

John Webber, General Manager says:

“Since talking about unprecedented demand for glass earlier this month, I’ve received calls from community newspapers in particular saying they simply weren’t aware that there was still demand for glass cullet.”
“Fact is 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. This means demand for this market of 155,000 tonnes of glass per annum.”

“We’ve put together a video clip to explain the issues for glass recovery. Put simply the problem we have today is not being able to recover sufficient good quality cullet for glass making in New Zealand. This is because glass which is collected commingled with other packaging materials and compacted in the back of the collection lorry prior to arrival at the Materials Recovery Facility may be too contaminated to be used to make new glass containers at the nearby O-I Auckland furnace.”

“We are aware that some councils are claiming the downturn in the global economy is to blame for falling prices for low grade recyclables. Fact is that good quality separation processes are continuing to produce glass which has a good market value. Where councils have moved to commingled collections expecting in addition a return from the price of recyclables, they will need to determine whether collecting 10% more recyclables through a wheelie bin process is real value for money if they have contaminated product at the end of it which is worth little.”

A recent report in the UK has come to similar conclusions finding that very little glass processed through Materials Recovery Facilities is used for remanufacture because of quality issues. The vast majority goes into road aggregates.

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.

“We understand that new technology will be introduced at the Auckland MRF which will initially process the 18,000 tonnes of contaminated recyclables with the expectation that this will deal with around 98% of the materials in the stockpile. This has to be good news but we also hope that a significant part of the glass will be of sufficiently high quality to be processed back into new glass containers by O-I NZ.”

“For glass which does not meet the quality required to make new glass containers because, 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.

To download video go to:

Source: Glass Packaging ForumAuthor: shangyi

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