About 80% of the U.S. population has access to single-stream curbside recycling collection, which is accompanied by issues of contamination and often ineffective recovery, especially for glass containers.
Recognizing the need to protect the environment and conserve valuable energy resources, the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) announced in December 2008 that its member companies were committed to using at least 50% recycled glass in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars by 2013.
Access to quality cullet through effective recycling programs is critical for glass manufacturers. Using 100% recyclable glass containers in the raw materials mix reduces energy use and natural resources, cuts CO2 emissions, and improves economic efficiencies.
An ongoing issue for glass manufacturers is the growing demand for high-quality recovered glass and insufficient supply. This is often the result of the way in which glass and other recycled materials are collected from consumers.
Starting last August, Ohio kicked off a one-year recycling pilot program to recover glass bottles from bars and restaurants. After collection, some of the glass will go to local glass manufacturer O-I for use in the production of new containers.
Over 40 state legislatures convened in the first quarter of 2013 and, as in previous years, they are actively introducing legislation that has the potential to impact the glass container industry and glass bottle recycling.