On Monday, June 5, 2023, O-I Glass Inc. has joined millions of people and organizations from around the globe in recognizing World Environment Day. Established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1973, World Environment Day aims to raise awareness of and drive global action around the pressing environmental challenges of our times. This year’s theme, designated by UNEP, is Solutions to Plastic Pollution.
Beating plastic pollution requires governments, cities, industry, and individuals around the world to eliminate their use of unnecessary plastic. One solution to reducing plastic pollution is purchasing products sustainably packaged in glass.
Glass is a key ingredient for modern life. Glass has transformed and elevated cityscapes, architecture, vehicle design, art and the gigabit speeds at which we live our digital lives. Glass has also transformed our relationship with food and beverages, not only providing healthy, shelf-stable packaging, but also enabling brand-defining and beautifully distinctive designs. The contributions of glass, however, go beyond its beauty and utility.
Glass is the most sustainable rigid packaging material and a solution to beating plastic pollution. Here are four reasons why:
- Glass is infinitely recyclable. Glass has been widely recycled for decades and can be endlessly recycled without loss in quality or purity, meaning a recycled glass container can become new glass over and over again – an ideal package for the circular economy. Additionally, for every 10 percent of recycled glass used in the glassmaking process, emissions are reduced by 5 percent.
- Glass is reusable. Glass is easy to clean, sterilize and reuse. Depending on location, refillable glass bottles can be commercially reused 25 or more times before having to be recycled into new glass bottles. Because of glass’ beauty and durability, glass containers are often reused in our personal lives as well.
- Glass is inert. Glass doesn’t absorb or interact with the food and beverages inside. With glass, there is no need to worry about microplastics. And, once glass reaches its end of life, if it’s not recycled, it will naturally decompose back into the earth without leaching chemicals into the ground.
- Glass is reducing its environmental footprint. The sustainability of any product depends on the sustainability of the processes used to produce it. Glass requires fewer ingredients and less energy within the manufacturing process than other packaging materials. It also has more localized supply chains. New, innovative technologies are also helping to further lightweight glass and transform the glass-making process, making glass an even more sustainable packaging choice.
Led by its diverse team of approximately 24,000 employees in 19 countries, O-I is one of the leading producers of glass bottles and jars around the globe. With more than a century of experience in innovating and transforming how glass packaging is made, O-I today is committed to being the most innovative, sustainable, and chosen supplier of brand-building packaging solutions.