Windshields now recycled

JN Phillips Auto Glass unveiled a program to address the massive amount of windshields that end up in landfills each year. Called “GreenShield”, the program is JN Phillips’ commitment to responsibly recycle 100 percent of the windshields the company replaces. GreenShield is the first large-scale effort by any retailer/installer to recycle and reduce the impact of consumer windshields at the end of their useful lives.

In the United States, approximately 15 million windshields – the equivalent of about 600 million pounds of material – are replaced each year. Until now, most have ended up in landfills due to technical difficulties related to separating the glass and plastic that make up today’s windshields, logistics barriers and a lack of facilities capable of recycling the material. GreenShield is the result of two years of research and development by JN Phillips to determine the optimal solution to efficient windshield recycling.

Insurance carriers have already expressed interest in the program, with Electric Insurance Company being the first to pledge support by informing policyholders about the GreenShield recycling option.

Upon removal, windshields are collected at JN Phillips locations across New England. The material is sent to a central location and bulk-shipped to JN Phillips’ recycling partner for processing. The windshields are then pulverized and sent through a special process to separate the glass from the plastic material, polyvinyl butyral (PVB). Upon final processing, the PVB plastic can be used in various industrial adhesive applications. The processed glass material – often called “glass cullet” – is less costly than raw materials and has numerous applications, including fiberglass insulation and even concrete.

Based on its average annual replacement volume, JN Phillips anticipates it will save approximately five million pounds of glass and plastic from landfills each year.