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
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.