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GLASS WORKS: Recycle Glass Month 2011

August 1, 2011
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This past Earth Day, the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) announced that the first official Recycle Glass Month will take place in September. The event has been created to help the industry spread the message about the economic value and environmental benefits of glass bottle and jar recycling. Recycle Glass Month will emphasize the industry's goal to reach 50% recycled content in the manufacture of all glass containers by the end of 2013.

To encourage involvement, the GPI and its member companies have planned events and activities that will engage local recycling officials and communities; model programs that are creating partnerships and innovation around glass recycling; and consumers, who are the backbone of glass bottle and jar recycling.

Building Bridges

In 2011, the GPI established a partnership with Earth911.com, an environmental services company that provides consumers with free access to a directory of information on recycling, including where they can recycle glass bottles and jars anywhere in the U.S. During the month of September, Recycle Glass Month will be the home page feature on the Earth911.com website, which reaches over 4.4 million unique visitors annually.

At the community level, glass manufacturers will partner with local businesses, schools, and community recycling organizations near their plants to hold glass recycling drives, help expand local bar and restaurant glass bottle recycling programs, offer glass manufacturing plant tours, and visit schools with games and other glass recycling learning tools. The goal is to establish more long-term community partners to increase glass container recycling in the future.

To track local glass recycling activity and spread awareness virally, the GPI is creating a hyper-local recycling scheme that leverages social media tools such as foursquare and Facebook. The intent is to provide a forum for participants to share information about their glass recycling efforts with friends and family, and encourage them to participate in Recycle Glass Month. The GPI is also exploring ways to use "Deal of the Day" services like GrouponTMand LivingSocial to offer incentives for those who participate in community glass recycling initiatives during the month of September.

Fostering Partnerships

This year, the GPI plans to announce its annual Clear Choice Awards winners during Recycle Glass Month. This long-standing program honors consumer products companies for expanding the frontiers of glass package design. The winning glass packages demonstrate why glass is the "clear choice" for consumers who want a 100% recyclable package that offers a premium look, pure taste and the ultimate in product protection.

In addition, the GPI will announce the recipients of its "Friends of Glass" awards, which honor individuals, companies, or organizations that make significant and innovative efforts to promote or participate in glass container recycling for bottle-to-bottle use.

Finally, the GPI has stepped up efforts to reach out to our members' customers. While consumer demand for products packaged in glass has grown, some popular brands do not provide a glass package option. In response, the GPI kicked off the "Ask for Glass" campaign, which allows consumers to use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to connect with their favorite brands' social media pages and request that products be offered in glass. Interested brands can take a simple pledge affirming that they will offer consumers the choice of buying their product in glass.

Recycle Glass Month is proving to be a powerful tool to bring attention to the value of glass container recycling. Please join with us for this year's events. Begin by recycling your glass bottles. For complete 2011 Recycle Glass Month details, visit www.gpi.org.

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