Compared to other materials used for packaging, glass is one of the more sustainable solutions. Unlike plastic, glass can be endlessly recycled and used as a raw material for the production of new glass packaging, and is made from natural raw materials such as quartz sand, calcite, soda and waste glass.
However, the glassmaking production process is most criticized for its high energy consumption, and one company from Northern Ireland has just managed to minimize CO2 emissions in the glassmaking process.
Biofuel as the future of glass production?
Encirc has successfully produced bottles from renewable biofuels, which announce a “bright and sustainable future” in a wide range of industrial applications. These ultra-low CO2 bottles are produced for some of the biggest brands in the beverage industry. Switching from fossil fuels to very low-CO2 alternative materials, made from recycled waste, can reduce the carbon footprint of each bottle produced by up to 90 percent, Encirc said, and using 100 percent recycled glass they believe they can further reduce the negative impact of their products on the environment.
Glass also has its drawbacks
Although glass is one of the few materials that can be endlessly recycled, a study published late last year found that the energy and resources used to produce it could mean that this material is four times more dangerous to the environment than plastic.
Enormous amounts of energy are needed to convert raw materials, including quartz sand, soda and calcite, into glass, and soil degradation and water pollution are potential hazards that non-recycled glass can have on the environment.
In Encirc, however, they argue that their use of biofuels could be a sustainable solution and a new low-carbon alternative sought by the industry.
E2 portal (Ekovjesnik)
Source: E2 Portal by www.e2.rs.
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