O-I Joins Heineken for Glass Recycling Pilot Program in Brazil

February 05, 2021

O-I is joining partners Heineken to support a new glass recycling pilot program in Brazil. The pilot program entices consumers to recycle through convenience and a reward system.

Volte Sempre is the new glass recycling program in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Consumers take their empty glass bottles to one of nine machines located at convenient places around town: supermarkets, bars and residential condos. When a consumer drops off a bottle at a Volte Sempre machine, they get credit through an app that they can redeem toward their next Heineken product purchase.

By placing the machines in locations consumers are likely to visit often, the program seeks to make recycling as easy as possible. The glass is crushed and ends up at O-I to be used to create new glass bottles and jars.

Recycled glass is valuable for manufacturers like O-I because it’s one of four ingredients used to make new glass bottles and jars. Using recycled glass not only keeps more raw materials in the ground, but it lowers the energy needs and emissions of the glass manufacturing process.

Glass packaging is 100% recyclable and endlessly recyclable. Every bottle that stays in the manufacturing loop is supporting a low-waste, circular economy for glassmakers as well as beverage producers.

“Inviting O-I to participate means that the glass packaging cycle closes and the packaging is able to return to our furnaces and become another glass package,” explains Daniel Jekl, O-I’s Marketing Manager for Americas South.

The Volte Sempre glass recycling project could expand to more cities if the pilot period attracts high consumer participation.

O-I Glass is the worldwide leader in glass packaging manufacturing. O-I’s vision is to be the most sustainable manufacturer of the most sustainable packaging while supporting sustainable communities where our employees live and work. O-I’s participation in the Volte Sempre recycling project is one way we demonstrate our commitment to innovative solutions and work with our customer partners to build a stronger, low-waste, circular economy.