O-I has implemented two projects to reduce water use at its glass plant in San Polo, Italy.

Before now, water supply was not historically a challenge in northern Italy.

However, due to climate change, regions there have faced long periods of drought.

Consequently, O-I examined the water use at its San Polo plant; glass plants use water during the cooling portion of the manufacturing process.

This led to the creation of two projects. One project created a closed-loop water system of the kettles in kiln 1.

Instead of draining the water, it’s now sent to the filter cooling system of oven 1.

Creating a closed-loop water system reduces the amount of new water the plant needs to make glass.

The improvements also enable the plant to continue producing glass through future drought periods, sustaining it through potential water supply rations that would have otherwise limited supply.

Teams also installed modern new sinks in the hot zone.

The new sinks feature a pedal system that allows workers in the hot end to better control how much water they need for hydration — as well as washing their hands.

Together, the two water-saving projects save an estimated 60 mc/day; the annual water savings is equivalent to the water needed to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool more than eight times (see above).

Reducing water consumption by 25% by 2030 is one of O-I’s top sustainability goals - in 2022, it launched a Water Reduction Roadmap to track its progress.