JANUARY 2009

Glass container industry sets new recycling goal
Seeks 50 percent recycled content by 2013

In recognition of the environmental value of post-consumer cullet, or recycled glass, member companies of the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) have agreed to the goal of using at least 50 percent recycled glass in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars by 2013.

New United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data shows the glass recycling rate has already jumped to 28.1 percent in 2007, up three percentage points from 2006 (25.3 percent). With this new momentum, an estimated 3.2 million tons were recovered compared to 2.9 million in 2006. Using the EPA’s benefits calculator, GPI estimates energy savings from using 50 percent recycled content in all glass packages manufactured in the United States could save enough energy to power over 45,000 households for a year.

“This is certainly a powerful statement by the glass industry about its intent to work with other stakeholders to improve cradle-to-cradle recycling,” said Rich Crawford, GPI’s board chairman, and president of Global Glass Operations, O-I.

More than 28 percent of beverages packaged in glass are sold in restaurants and other away-from-home venues. Glass container manufacturers support innovative curbside collection practices and will continue to work with policymakers to improve and expand state beverage deposit programs.

“One of the outstanding environmental benefits of glass containers is that they are endlessly recyclable, and can be made with up to 100 percent recycled content,” said Joseph Cattaneo, president of the Glass Packaging Institute. “Reuse of post-consumer recycled container glass is critical to our glass container industry and its environmental and energy efficiency goals. This cullet use is also an integral part of the cradle-to-cradle aspects of glass manufacturing.”