Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), the trade union representing the North American glass container industry, has acknowledged the findings of the country’s Northeast Recycling Council’s (NERC) recent report.

GPI has agreed to the NERC’s report, which highlights that the majority of food and beverage glass containers collected via single-stream recycling programmes in the region and the Canadian province of Quebec are used as alternative daily covers (ADCs) in landfills.

GPI president Scott DeFife said: “GPI agrees with the report’s conclusion that more investment in glass recycling infrastructure would help decrease material contamination, and increase the volume of quality glass suitable to be recycled into new containers.

“ADC should only be allowed after all other end market options for glass sorted by materials recovery facilities (MRFs) are explored. Local governments and states should reconsider providing any diversion or recycling credits to entities using glass as a landfill cover substitute, or for disposal of glass in any similar manner.”

The NERC report claimed that the major contributing factor to this issue is the poor quality of glass, which is considered contaminated, being delivered to glass manufacturers by MRFs.

Another factor is the lack of necessary infrastructure for MRFs in the region that the country requires to correctly remove excess glass at the start of the sorting line. Neglecting this adds more weight to the glass, resulting in higher shipping costs for long distances.  

The latest findings claim that the region does not have enough beneficiation facilities that accept, clean, and process MRF glass for manufacturers in the region.

The report also highlighted a lack of transparency with consumers regarding how their post-consumer glass is disposed of.

DeFife added: “Clean source-separated glass from the region’s deposit return programmes has good, positive end markets, and GPI recommends states with bottle bill recycling programmes expand to include as much glass beverage packaging as possible.

“This will allow existing networks of bottle processing facilities to get more of the region’s post-consumer glass back into the supply chain.

“Lastly, the states in the region should consider a regional compact to assist in citing and support for new multimodal regional glass processing facilities that can handle MRF glass, to deal with the region’s non-bottle bill glass.”