As the glass container industry welcomes 2018, key economic indicators in North America are steady, signaling a positive outlook for growth in the New Year. Many of today’s market trends influencing food and beverage packaging present strong opportunities for glass containers. Research on consumer sentiment also shows that glass is well-positioned as the packaging of choice for taste, health and sustainability.
Over the past year and a half, coalitions in Iowa and Massachusetts have formed to protect and strengthen their states’ bottle bill recycling programs. These partnerships include environmental organizations, beverage container redemption and collection centers, some recycling facilities, state recycling organizations, and manufacturing industries
The glass container industry is committed to engaging with stakeholders to improve the quantity and quality of recycled glass. Results from an initiative to do just that at two North Carolina materials recovery facilities (MRFs) are in and show promise in the investments made at both locations.
This spring, the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC) surveyed 250 public-sector officials, materials recovery facility (MRFs) operators and glass industry representatives to gain insight on the state of glass recycling.
Members of the glass recycling supply chain, along with local and state agency partners, are critical components to set up and facilitate many community and state glass recycling programs. Partnerships in the recycling arena are not necessarily limited to funding or capital investment for equipment or infrastructure, and often focus on recyclable materials purchasing agreements, as well as steady end markets for glass recyclables.
In celebration of America Recycles Day 2016, the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC) launched its website, www.glassrecycles.org. The GRC also kicked off the first in a series of webinars targeting a variety of topics—adding another resource to support making glass recycling work.
Over the past year, recycling industry stakeholders and governments have taken a renewed interest in how recycling and recovery rates are measured for packaging, including glass containers and other recyclable materials.
Today in the U.S., 10 states operate beverage container deposit refund programs (BCDRPs), which provide the most consistent source of quality recycled glass (cullet) for the glass container industry. It’s estimated that these programs supply anywhere from 65-80% of the recycled glass used to make new bottles and jars. Similar to sand, soda ash and limestone, recycled glass is a critical manufacturing input.
The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), along with beverage leaders—including Diageo and New Belgium Brewing—and the glass processing and recycling industries, have gathered a dynamic group of organizations to advance glass recycling in the U.S. Called the U.S. Glass Recycling Coalition, the nearly two dozen member organizations will aim to make glass recycling a successful industry, as well as the efficient, high-quality, and convenient service consumers want and expect.