Glass Packaging Institute Testifies Before Maryland Lawmakers on Recycling Legislation
ANNAPOLIS, MD, March 5, 2013 – Legislation before the Maryland Senate would significantly increase recycling rates, while reducing energy use and emissions, noted Lynn Bragg, President of the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), in testimony offered today before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.
Bragg participated in the hearing to lend the glass container industry’s support for Senate Bill 641, which would create a container deposit refund and recycling program for Maryland. Through such a refund, the measure establishes a goal of 75% recovery of containers by December 31, 2019. Notably, states with existing container deposit refund programs often achieve recovery rates of 80% and better.
GPI’s member companies are focused on increasing their use of recycled glass. When plants can increase the levels of recycled glass as part of the overall batch mix, they can reduce furnace temperatures, resulting in reduced energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions. For example, one ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled glass used in the manufacturing process. Energy use at the glass plants also drop about 2-3% for every 10% recycled glass used in the manufacturing process.
“It’s telling that roughly 65% of recycled glass purchased by the glass container industry comes from the ten states currently administering these programs,” noted Bragg. “Clearly, they are providing an excellent source of usable recyclable material.”
Bragg continued, “GPI’s members have made environmental sustainability an important focus in their companies' footprint. Using recycled glass in the manufacturing process allows glass container manufacturers to significantly reduce energy consumption, reduce their carbon footprint and helps keep glass out of landfills.”
On behalf of the North American glass container manufacturers, the Glass Packaging Institute promotes glass as the optimal packaging choice, advances environmental and recycling policies, advocates industry standards and educates packaging professionals. GPI member companies manufacture glass containers for food, beverage, cosmetic and many other products. GPI associate members represent a broad range of suppliers to the industry.