Lynn Bragg is the President of the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI). Founded in 1919, the Washington, D.C.-based GPI represents the North American glass container manufacturing industry. To find out more about the strong environmental position of glass containers, visit www.gpi.org and sign up to receive the institute's monthly e-newsletter.
As frequent readers of this column know, the glass container manufacturing industry has a consistent and strong demand for recycled glass at its 45 glass plants across the U.S. In 2015, glass manufacturers purchased 2.4 million tons of recycled glass for remelting into new containers.
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.