Glass Packaging Institute: 40 years to achieve “Zero Waste“

According to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Opinion Research for the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) from 8-11 April 2010, the majority of Americans said that they believe it will take at le…

According to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Opinion Research for the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) from 8-11 April 2010, the majority of Americans said that they believe it will take at least another 40 years to achieve “Zero Waste“. The container glass industry is, however, continuing to work towards the goal of using 50% recycled glass in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars by 2013. Creating “zero-waste“ in the US is a goal that needs to be shared by all industries, communities, and consumers, says Joseph Cattaneo, president of the Glass Packaging Institute. In this regard, the glass container industry continues to forge ahead in creating more awareness about the environmental benefits of glass container recycling to meet our goal to use up to 50% recycled content in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars by 2013. One of the outstanding environmental benefits of glass containers is their recyclability in a closed-loop process, says Cattaneo. Reuse of post-consumer recycled glass containers minimizes consumption of raw materials, lessens the industry“s demand for energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Doubling the US glass container recycling rate (28.1% in 2008) would enable manufacturers to use 50% recycled glass to make new glass containers, resulting in savings of enough energy to power 21,978 homes for one year and removing 181,550 tons of waste from landfills every month. GPI and its members are actively supporting on-premise bar, restaurant, and hotel recycling initiatives to meet the 50% recycled content goal. More than 28% of beverages packaged in glass are sold in restaurants and other venues. Glass container manufacturers support innovative curbside collection practices and will continue to work with policymakers to improve and expand state beverage deposit return programs. The second-annual Recycle Glass Week, a glass container collection and awareness event aimed to educate consumers about the environmental benefits of glass container recycling, will also be hosted by GPI 12-18 September 2010.