Glass bottle manufacturer and filler, Encirc plans to use hydrogen in its manufacturing furnaces to create billions of ultra-low-carbon glass bottles.

The availability of hydrogen will enable the expansion of Encirc’s Elton facility, which it said would create at least 200 jobs, while futureproofing existing roles.

Encirc employs more than 1,000 people at its Elton facility and will use the supply from the proposed HyNet North West project in its furnaces which will lead the decarbonisation of glass packaging.

HyNet North West is a hydrogen and carbon capture and storage project that aims to unlock a low carbon economy for the North West of England.

The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, the UK’s Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, visited the UK glass manufacturer and bottler to learn more about the economic and environmental impact on the region if businesses such as Encirc were able to be connected to hydrogen.

The glass manufacturer aims to produce bottles using hydrogen by 2025.

Adrian Curry, Managing Director at Encirc, added: “It is vital that glass packaging decarbonises to meet our zero-emission future.

"Glass already has so many incredible environmental and health benefits over other materials, but the carbon intensity of our furnaces is a key challenge we need to address.

"We are delighted to be leading the charge, creating the world’s most sustainable glass bottles.”

The HyNet North West scheme is bidding alongside other clusters in the UK to be one of at least two chosen by Government to produce, store and distribute hydrogen as well as capture and store carbon from industry in the North West of England and North Wales by 2025.

The project has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10 million tonnes every year by 2030 – the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road.

By achieving this, HyNet will create and maintain thousands of local jobs, as well as enable long-term sustainability for businesses and financial security for communities across the region.

Encirc’s commitment to hydrogen follows this year’s successful fuel-switching initiative at its County Fermanagh plant in Northern Ireland where, alongside industry body Glass Futures, it used bio-fuel in one of its furnaces and 100% recycled glass, reducing the carbon footprint of its bottles by up to 90% as a result. The campaign was a success and resulted in Encirc now running regular fuel-switching at the plant.