WASHINGTON D.C. – The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), along with beverage leaders including Diageo and New Belgium Brewing, and the glass processing and recycling industry, have convened a dynamic group of organizations to make glass recycling work in the U.S. The nearly two dozen member organizations announced today they are joining forces to create the U.S. Glass Recycling Coalition. The coalition’s primary goal is to help build a foundation to make glass recycling a successful industry, and an efficient, high-quality and convenient service consumers want and expect.
An extraordinary aspect of this coalition is the fact that it involves membership and collaboration across the entire glass supply chain. For the first time ever, organizations, including consumer brands, glass manufacturers, waste haulers, recycling processors, and trade organizations involved within many of these industries, will work toward this common goal.
Glass containers for food and beverages are 100 percent recyclable, but today the U.S. recycling system faces a perfect storm of economic forces that is making it harder to recycle glass. Glass recycling can pose unique challenges on the recycling infrastructure if not planned for and executed correctly. In addition, a few municipalities have decided to remove glass from their curbside recycling programs and send it to disposal instead. This trend is not only environmentally harmful, but also serves to disengage and confuse the public on recycling.
“The Glass Packaging Institute is excited to partner with stakeholders along the entire value chain to work together on practical and targeted solutions for returning more recycled glass back to manufacturers for new bottles and jars,” said Lynn Bragg, President of GPI. “For glass container and fiberglass manufacturers, the demand for recycled glass dramatically exceeds the supply.”
Coalition members intend to work on bringing best practices to the U.S. glass recycling supply chain to increase the availability of “cullet,” the industry term for furnace-ready recycled glass that can become new bottles and jars, as well as fiberglass. For companies like Diageo and New Belgium Brewing, glass is not being recycled at a high enough rate to meet the beverage makers’ needs for recycled glass to make new bottles.
“Diageo is committed to sustainable packaging for our products, and we have significant global ambitions to increase the recycled content in our packaging,” explained Roberta Barbieri, Global Environmental Director, Diageo. “We are keen to see an increase in glass recycling in the U.S., and so we decided to come together with our beverage industry peers and representatives from across the entire glass recycling ecosystem to begin to identify solutions.”
“At New Belgium, we are always looking at how we can honor the environment in our business decisions and recycling is a key part of that,” said Katie Wallace, New Belgium’s Assistant Director of Sustaniability. “We know the glass recycling industry is facing significant challenges and believe that consumer-facing brands are an important part of a collaborative, nation-wide solution. We look forward to all that lies ahead and are honored to be part of this process.”
The coalition aims to help create an efficient system for glass recycling, making it a viable option for everyone. Together, the coalition will work to develop strategies to assist municipalities with glass recycling decisions, and establish a network of glass recycling resources and champions.
The coalition met on April 21, 2016 for an inaugural session hosted by GPI in Washington D.C. At launch, the Coalition already has the support of leading industry players. Confirmed members of the coalition include:
- Allagash Brewing Company
- Ardagh Group
- Gallo Glass Company
- Glass Packaging Institute (co-founder)
- Goose Island Beer Company
- Heineken USA
- NAIMA (North American Insulation Manufacturing Association, Inc.)
- New Belgium Brewing(co-founder)
- National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) o O-I
- Pratt Industries
- The Recycling Partnership
- Resource Recycling Systems (facilitator)
- Republic Services
- Ripple Glass
- Rocky Mountain Bottle Company
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
- Sims Municipal Recycling
- Strategic Materials, Inc.
- Waste Management
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice. Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.
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About the Glass Packaging Institute
The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) is the trade association representing the North American glass container industry. Through GPI, glass container manufacturers speak with one voice to advocate industry standards, promote sound environmental policies and educate packaging professionals. GPI member companies manufacture glass containers for food, beverage, cosmetic and many other products. GPI also has associate members that represent a broad range of suppliers and closure manufacturers. Learn more at www.GPI.org and UpgradeToGlass.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @ChooseGlass.
About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews thirteen year-round beers; Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel and a gluten-reduced line, Glutiny Pale Ale and Glutiny Golden Ale. Learn more at www.newbelgium.com.