The South Africa glass packaging industry produces an estimated amount of one million tonnes of glass per annum. Of this, less than 40.1 percent of the glass containers produced in South Africa are recovered and recycled.
Unlike other materials that form part of our waste stream, glass is infinitely recyclable because the recycling process does not affect the integrity of the new product. Once collected, the waste glass is separated into colours, cleaned and crushed into what is known as cullet. The cullet is mixed with silica sand, soda ash and limestone. This mixture is then melted in a furnace, reduced to a molten state, poured into moulds and slowly cooled.
Consol Glass has planned a range of activities to further improve the volumes of recycled glass that our country produces. Consol is an active member on the board of the Glass Recycling Company which was established through a partnership between national government, glass manufacturers, fillers and recyclers.
The glass packaging industry produces an estimated amount of one million tonnes of glass per annum. Of this, less than 40.1 percent of the glass containers produced in South Africa are recovered and recycled.
This national organisation, which is endorsed by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, is responsible for facilitating the recovery of waste glass for recycling. To this end, the Glass Recycling Company educates communities about the importance of protecting the environment through recycling and provides the necessary infrastructure, including glass banks, which people can use to deposit waste glass for recycling purposes.
There are currently 40 formal glass collecting agents in Gauteng townships, which collect no less than 500 tons per month. Through further investment and close partnerships with government departments, Consol intends to provide more entrepreneurial opportunities and thereby grow this market even more.
An expansion programme that covers the Western Cape and Greater Durban areas are to be initiated.
Consol will also be analysing the possibility of performing domestic kerbside collections. And, with the possibility of government legislation being imposed onto glass, separation at source strategies may be implemented to assist with this process.
As part of an awareness initiative, stakeholders in glass recycling have invested in more than 2500 bottle banks in urban towns throughout South Africa to assist in domestic recoveries.
For further information on your local collector/agent please contact the Glass Recycling Company on (011) 803-0767. Collections are performed through appointed agents.