British Glass has responded to the recent report ‘Plastic Promises: What the grocery sector is really doing about packaging’ by the Green Alliance, which mentioned the environmental impacts of alternatives to plastic packaging.
Jenni Richards, Federation Manager Of British Glass said in response: “We know that glass has many benefits, such as its recyclability and its virtually inert nature which doesn’t impact on the products packaged inside.
“The BBC, in response to the Green Alliance report, highlights other packaging materials which are potentially worse for the environment – citing the weight of glass in comparison to plastic during transportation leading to higher pollution levels.
“Whilst we can’t disagree that glass is heavier in this scenario, the bigger picture is that glass has the perfect qualities for a truly circular economy and our industry is taking great steps to achieve NetZero carbon emissions.
“Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without losing quality, meaning that the same material can be constantly recycled.
“This leads to recycled glass (cullet) being reused in the manufacturing process which reduces the amount of energy needed to create new glass bottles and jars.
“One area which we are really proud of and that is growing is in returnable glass bottles for milk.
“Here there can be no question over the best choice for packaging since bottles can be reused indefinitely with milk bottles being used typically 20 times over.
“The report calls for considered decisions based on evidence – which is important in the current climate crisis – as the long-term solution to the packaging.
“Research is ongoing to find alternative fuel sources for use in furnaces through Glass Futures to begin to make those plans a reality.
"Glass certainly has its place in our decarbonised circular economy future.
“Our concern is that short-term thinking will put at risk a material that is ideally suited to a sustainable world. We have to ensure that policies support a stable future and don’t sacrifice that future for short-term, transitory gains."