A French region which became a hub for the perfume, cosmetics and spirits glassmaking sector was discussed during a webinar.

The Future Made Clear webinar focused on the Bresle Valley, or Glass Valley, in Normandy, northern France which is home to more than 60 companies all specialised in glass manufacturing processes.

The FEVE-organised webinar included speakers Stefan Franconville, Vice President of the Glass Valley and founder of MG Group, and Jean-Marc Arrambourg, CEO of Saverglass.

Glass Valley

Mr Franconville said the Valley comprises of technology suppliers and glass producers and employs more than 10,000 specialised people.

These are mould makers, model makers, foundries, sorters, decorators and glass manufacturers, as well as transport and logistics groups.

The companies are located in an area of approximately 40km and is a unique industrial hub, he said.

Bresle Valley's tradition dates to the Roman Empire when glassmakers began to use forest resources to make glass. Thanks to the opening of the railway line to Paris in the 19th Century it began to serve the luxury bottles market.

Today the Valley represents about 70% of the world’s production of luxury glass bottles for the perfume, spirits, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, Mr Franconville said.

“The skill and the expertise of the Glass Valley members make this area a one-stop shop capable of offering some of the world’s biggest brands in perfumery, cosmetic and spirits with a wide range of traditional product all made in France.”

Preferred Packaging

Mr Arrambourg told the webinar that it had been known for decades that glass was the preferred packaging material for consumers.

“Everyone looks at glass as a fascinating and particularly suitable material because of its properties which are particularly suitable for luxury products,” he said.

It is inert, meaning no interaction with the contents of a bottle, has a longer shelf life so ideal for wine and spirits in upright positions, and is endlessly recyclable, he added.

Its versatility of shapes, brand differentiation and personalisation means glass also has unique design assets.

He said: “The purity and transparency of the glass announces the contents and shows off the content, like conveying the actual colour of the product can be particularly spectacular, such as Rose wines and dark coloured liquids.

“So compared to other packaging materials its right to say glass is the only one that combines all these advantages.”

The 45-minute webinar also discussed themes such as sustainability, recycling and current challenges facing the industry such as meeting increased demand and the lightweighting of bottles.

Mr Arrambourg said: “The glass sector is facing something which is new and it has two dimensions, social and environmental challenges. One of these is growing environmental awareness. The glass industry is absolutely including that in its strategic roadmap.

"Sustainability is high on the consumer agenda and this has therefore become a top priority for our customers, we really know that and are addressing it.”

“The glass industry is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of glass packaging,” he added.

The industry is continuously investing in reducing and optimising energy, which is an import environmental parameter. It is steadily switching to green and renewable energy.


He also addressed the challenges posed by packaging legislation to reduce the weight of glass.

These could jeopardise bottle product design and brand differentiation which is key to marketing excusive products that are designed in a way to stand out on the shelf.

“Reducing weight while maintaining the high-end design of glass is one of the cornerstones of the industry.

“In this regards we have several initiatives aimed at producing lighter and stronger glass packaging while respecting its identity and tradition.”

Companies based in the Bresle Valley include glassmakers Pochet du Courval, SGD Pharma, Verescence and Waltersperger.

The webinar is available to view via https://www.linkedin.com/video...