O-I employees collect 4 tons of glass for recycling

Owens-Illinois (O-I) employees collected four tons of glass for recycling as part of North American Recycle Glass Week which is sponsored by the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI).

O-I employees exceeded the company’s goal of collecting 3 tons of glass for recycling through its employee collection drive at the global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio where 750 people are employed.

“We wanted to focus on raising awareness about the importance of recycling glass since many people may not realize that glass can be recycled over and over, saving tons of raw materials,” said Kristie Martin, a communications specialist at O-I, who chaired the company-wide recycling effort.

O-I hosted collection events and collected glass for recycling at its headquarters and its manufacturing plants across in the United States. The company built glass recycling stations for employees to deposit glass bottles and containers during the campaign.

All of the recycled glass was sent to cullet processors that provide recycled cullet to O-I for its glass manufacturing process to make more bottles and containers.

While glass is 100 percent recyclable, one of the most significant issues affecting the glass industry is the lack of quality recycled glass, according to O-I.

Although 17 million tons of glass enters the waste stream annually, only about 2.5 million tons are recycled by glass makers to produce more containers. By increasing the amount of recycled glass available by 10 percent, the environmental impact would reduce the energy required for glass production by 3 percent and carbon emissions by 5 percent, according to the company.

If OI’s goal of using at least 50 percent recycled glass when producing new glass containers by 2013 is reached, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the domestic energy savings would be enough to power nearly 22,000 households for an entire year and keep 181,550 tons of waste from reaching landfills.