April 09, 2019

O-I has marked the latest Global Recycling Day (18 March 2019) by looking at its progress on glass recycling and outlining a fresh vision. 

As research indicates that more and more consumers would stop buying goods that have non-recyclable packaging (36% of European consumers, 25% in the US, 35% in Australia), the reputational and bottom-line threat to food and drinks manufacturers is stark.

The basics of glass recycling are simple and are reflected in consumers’ continued preference for glass packaging:

  • Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable
  • They can be recycled into new bottles and jars endlessly with no loss in quality
  • Across Europe, the infrastructure for recycling is well-established and successful. Latest EU figures show 74% of glass is collected for recycling

Because glass already operates in a closed-loop system, recycled glass has become a key ingredient in the recipe mix to make “new” glass:

  • In 2017, O-I achieved a global average of 38% recycled glass in its bottles
  • It is working towards a global target of 50% by 2025
  • European figures already exceed this – green glass contains about 80% recycled glass

There is no complacency and O-I continues to invest in recycling.  The company knows customers want it to go even further; ambitious targets and innovative schemes guide its every move.

  • Over the past 3 years, O-I has invested $6 million in collections schemes to improve recycling infrastructure
  • It supports a campaign in Brazil which collects glass from bars and restaurants and delivers it to O-I for reprocessing and manufacture into new packaging
  • In France, O-I links how much glass it recycles to charity – in 2018, O-I donated 90,000 Euros to fight cancer
  • The company is working on technology to increase levels of recycled glass in all products, particularly amber and clear glass which historically have used less cullet than green bottles

Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet. The campaign sees recyclables as the seventh natural resource, alongside water, air, coal, oil, natural gas, and minerals.  

Together, we can tackle this through coordinated action to Reduce, Reduce and Recycle!