The Lifecycle of Glass

Discover the cradle-to-cradle glass lifecycle

Our complete lifecycle assessment

We conducted a Carbon Footprint Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in 2009 that analysed the environmental impact of a glass container from the extraction of raw material to the container's end-of-life. The LCA helped us identify areas in our value chain where we have the most significant impact and where we can exercise the most control: energy and carbon emissions.

 

More about our carbon footprint


Practicing what we preach

Sustainability is at the heart of all our planning, production and logistics. We are proud to be a member and major contributor to the Glass Packaging Forum, the accredited container glass packaging product stewardship scheme.

As a global business, we are benchmarked regionally and globally on all key performance indicators including energy usage, quality, and cullet use and production efficiency. O-I NZ has the highest cullet use in the Asia Pacific region.

 


A local effort

O-I New Zealand is the country’s largest user of recycled glass and when it comes to recycling the benefits are clear – Glass is 100% infinitely recyclable, using recycled glass reduces the amount of raw materials required and less energy is used to melt recycled glass.

 


What is Cullet?

Cullet is the term we use to define recycled glass, instead of using raw materials we can use cullet. Cullet can include post-consumer and post production glass, fine grinds and flat glass (e.g. windows).

 


Leadership and excellence

O-I NZ has always strived for excellence in product stewardship. In 1973, we created New Zealand’s first glass recycling programme – more than 30 years ahead of legislation.

Since then, OI-NZ has diverted nearly 1.9 million tonnes of glass from landfill; and avoiding more than 64,946 tonnes of emissions. But we won’t stop there. We continue to demonstrate sector leadership and work to reduce our carbon footprint through improved manufacturing processes, cutting carbon emissions, reducing our energy usage and increasing the amount of recycled glass in our operations.

 


Benefits of maximising our use of recycled glass.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced energy use and CO2 emissions. Every 10% of recycled glass used in production cuts carbon emissions by about 5% and reduces energy use by about 3%.
  • Reduction in the amount of raw materials that must be extracted transported and used in production.
  • It reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill.

 


What do we recycle?

Empty bottles and jars (container glass) that once contained a food or beverage.

What don’t we recycle?

Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes, Pyrex dishes and ovenware, china and crockery – cups, saucers, plates, drinking glasses, window glass, opal glass, glass bricks, medical and laboratory glass containers, window glass, TV tubes and computer screens – because these material types have different compositions and can’t be used to make quality glass containers.

Colour sorting your glass

Glass is more valuable to the end market if it is colour-separated at the source.