O-I: dispelling the myths of glass recycling

O-I Meets with Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to educate about glass benefits

Glass packaging is 100 percent and infinitely recyclable. It can be made in to a new glass package over and over again, preserving the quality of the product inside. Using recycled glass to make new food and beverage packaging helps reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing process. Glass recycling is good for businesses and communities around the world.

In the USA, O-I’s Global Government Affairs team recently met with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) after an anti-glass campaign was launched by the Virginia DEQ encouraging residents not to recycle their glass packaging.

Randy Burns, VP of Global Government Affairs & Legal Legacy Strategy, Mike Smaha, manager of US Government Affairs, as well as representatives from the Glass Packaging Institute and Strategic Materials (SMI), met with the National DEQ to notify them of the anti-glass campaign and inform them of the benefits and sustainability of glass. The DEQ officials, which includes a Perrysburg native, were surprised to learn of the campaign, saying it goes against their policy.

Since the meeting, glass-to-glass recycling in Fairfax County is back on the rise. Residents of the county take their glass to large purple bins around the county, where it is then picked up and processed by SMI. SMI then sells the processed cullet to various manufacturers, including O-I. It is then used in the Danville and Toano, Virginia plants to produce 3.6 million glass containers per day.

To date, the purple bin campaign in Northern Virginia has led to over 4 million pounds of clean glass being recycled back into the circular economy.