The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), Diageo and have New Belgium Brewing have formed the US Glass Recycling Coalition.
The coalition aims to help build a foundation to make glass recycling a successful industry, and an efficient, high-quality and convenient service consumers want and expect.
Members of the coalition include glassmakers such as O-I and Ardagh, companies from the glass processing and recycling industry as well as waste haulers and trade organisations who will all work towards a common goal.
The US recycling system faces a perfect storm of economic forces that is making it harder to recycle glass. Glass recycling poses challenges on the recycling infrastructure if not planned for and executed correctly. In addition, a few municipalities have decided to remove glass from their curbside recycling programmes and send it to disposal instead. This trend is not only environmentally harmful, but also serves to disengage and confuse the public on recycling.
“The Glass Packaging Institute is excited to partner with stakeholders along the entire value chain to work together on practical and targeted solutions for returning more recycled glass back to manufacturers for new bottles and jars,” said Lynn Bragg, President of GPI. “For glass container and fiberglass manufacturers, the demand for recycled glass dramatically exceeds the supply.”
Coalition members intend to work on bringing best practices to the U.S. glass recycling supply chain to increase the availability of ‘cullet,’ the industry term for furnace-ready recycled glass that can become new bottles and jars, as well as fiberglass. For companies lsuch as Diageo and New Belgium Brewing, glass is not being recycled at a high enough rate to meet the beverage makers’ needs for recycled glass to make new bottles.
“Diageo is committed to sustainable packaging for our products, and we have significant global ambitions to increase the recycled content in our packaging,” explained Roberta Barbieri, Global Environmental Director, Diageo. “We are keen to see an increase in glass recycling in the US, and so we decided to come together with our beverage industry peers and representatives from across the entire glass recycling ecosystem to begin to identify solutions.”
The coalition aims to help create an efficient system for glass recycling, making it a viable option for everyone. The coalition will work to develop strategies to assist municipalities with glass recycling decisions, and establish a network of glass recycling resources and champions.
The coalition met on April 21, 2016 for an inaugural session hosted by GPI in Washington D.C. Confirmed members of the coalition include:
*Allagash Brewing Company
*Gallo Glass Company
*Glass Packaging Institute (co-founder)
*Goose Island Beer Company
*NAIMA (North American Insulation Manufacturing Association, Inc.)
*New Belgium Brewing (co-founder)
*National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA)
*The Recycling Partnership
*Resource Recycling Systems (facilitator)
*Rocky Mountain Bottle Company
*Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
*Sims Municipal Recycling
*Strategic Materials, Inc.