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Win-Win situation with recycling glass
Glass recycling is a gain for the environment and industry
Glass is an everpresent material which offers numerous benefits even once its original use is over. As a truly global product in terms of application options, production and recycling, glass is available almost everywhere in sufficient quantities and at favourable conditions.
A study undertaken by FEVE - the European Container Glass Federation - showed that more than 16 million tonnes of glass was produced in 2009 by 27 EU countries. The recycling rate in 2009 was 67.42%.
According to FEVE, a continual increase in returns and recycling was recorded for glass collections in the study period between 1999 and 2009. The 27 EU countries, plus Switzerland, Croatia, Norway, Turkey and the Ukraine were evaluated during this 10 year period. During this ten-year investigation period, glass collection rose from 56% in 1999 to 67% in 2009 within the EU.
FEVE (the European Container Glass Federation) examined the performance of the container glass industry in autumn 2010 with regards to sustainability and the advantages of glass for health. It became obvious that closed-loop recycling would safeguard the future.
Glass is particularly suitable for a closedloop recycling system, i.e. from "Cradle to Cradle", as it can be continuously recycled without loss of quality. Unlike other materials that are subject to downcycling, with the unavoidable final destination as waste for landfill.
With regards to ecological aspects, FEVE refers to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), an initiative by the container glass industry to measure the effects of this industry. The study quantifies the savings made in energy, raw materials and CO2 for every glass recycling process. Around 30% less energy is required to melt broken glass in a melting furnace compared to the use of raw materials. 1.2 tonnes of raw material are saved and almost 0.7 tonnes CO2 emissions are prevented per 1 tonne broken glass required to produce 1 tonne glass.
PORAVER perfects the recycling process
Not all glass waste can be economically reused in the glass industry. Broken glass that is, for example, too small for recycling into new glass is seen as waste and must be disposed of or placed in landfills.
This is where the production method developed by the company Dennert Poraver in Schlüsselfeld steps in to convert these residual products in a special production method for numerous application and requirement options.
The constant further development and optimization of the PORAVER production process now enables the production of fine-pored spherical granules free of broken granules, with grain sizes ranging from 16 mm to the microscopically small 0.04 mm diameter.
The overall production volume has also increased steadily:
- 1992 approx. 5000 tonnes
- 1997 approx. 15,000 tonnes
- 2003 up to 20,000 tonnes
- 2009 saw 35,000 tonnes being produced.
50,000 tonnes are planned for 2013.
The featherlight and extremely heatinsulating Poraver, originally planned for use as a lightweight additive for the production of bricks and walls, is today used worldwide as the preferred lightweight additive for construction-chemical products, structural wallpaper, kitchen work surfaces, acoustic panels, facade carrier panels and chemical industry products.
New application areas and uses are discovered almost on a daily basis through the worldwide activities enhanced by Poraver. Be it in the production of high-quality plastics, modern ship building or promising tests in the automotive, aviation and offshore industries.
Dennert Poraver GmbH took another step towards worldwide availability with the takeover of the Canadian licensee company on 14.02.2011. Future company plans include licensee plants in South America, Middle East and Asia.
Additional knowledge highlighted during the conference related to the health advantages of glass packaging . Results from the European packaging study that was carried out in September by the international market research company TNS show that 83% of consumer prefer glass to plastic packaging to protect products from chemical contamination, to store food and drink healthily (83%) and to support a healthy lifestyle (88%). The study also shows that consumers understand the message and therefore the container industry continues to support the initiative "Friends of Glass" and its health campaign entitled "Nothing to Hide".
FEVE (European Container Glass Federation) is the European Federation of glass packaging and glass tableware manufacturers.
The association represents the container glass industry at international, but above all at European level, and acts as a forum for the investigation of generally relevant topics.
FEVE maintains a close dialog with European institutes and agencies for environmental protection, trade and other important sectors. The association promotes glass packaging and glass recycling in addition to the activities of the glass industry at national level.
The container glass industry in figures
The EU is the world's largest producer of container glass. In 2009, 159 factories distributed across 23 member states in Europe produced over 20 million tonnes. The industry employs over 46,000 people.
The data are published on the FEVE?website (www.feve.org) and on the website of the EU Commission.
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