O-I has partnered with Ekored to open a recycling hub for cullet suppliers in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The facility will use cullet recovery with Ekored’s PET chain in the northern coastal area of Colombia and will collect cullet from the Atlantic Coast - about 550 miles from O-I’s plant.

Colombia’s cullet supply falls into three general categories: readily accessible cullet close to the plants, inaccessible cullet due to its distance from the plants and cullet in landfills, which O-I does not have access to.

The cullet hub, located in the same business centre as the PET and scrap recycling centres, will allow recycling suppliers to carry all three materials in the same truck.

The opening of the facility is part of O-I’s mission to keep more glass in the manufacturing stream and out of landfills, as well as reducing the energy used and emissions produced during the glassmaking process.

“We know when it comes to sustainability, we need to join forces to achieve greater impact,” said Monica Franco, O-I Sustainability Leader, Andean Country Group.

The mid-term goal is to bring in an additional 600 metric tonnes of recycled glass packaging per month; Franco anticipates it may happen by the end of 2022.