Glass bottle manufacturer Owens-Illinois (O-I) has signed an agreement in principle with Canadian conditioner Groupe Bellemare to produce bottles from glass collected through curbside recycling.
Based in Québec, the new glass recycling facility is part of efforts initiated under the Innovative Glass Works plan by private non-profit organisation Éco Entreprises Québec.
In a joint statement, Groupe Bellemare co-president Serge Bellemare and Owens-Illinois sustainability vice-president Jim Nordmeyer said: “We are extremely pleased with the agreement, which constitutes an important milestone in the development of our respective organisations and a major glass recycling breakthrough in Québec.”
A working group put together by Éco Entreprises is responsible for leading talks on technical requirements on the glass quality, supply conditions and installation of remelting, optimal conditioning and colour-sorting equipment.
Groupe Bellemare is currently planning to make investments in new equipment following the confirmation of the supply guarantees.
According to the company, the initiative is now subject to one final condition, which is a change in Quebec regulation to ban any usage of glass in landfill sites.
Bellemare added: “Should the Ministre de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques announce that it is choosing to end this practice and fully support the glass recycling, we will work to secure our feedstock needed for the immediate investment and our plant will be operational within a year, as per our discussions with Owens-Illinois.”
Last month, the glass bottle manufacturer acquired Nueva Fàbrica Nacional de Vidrio (Nueva Fanal) from Grupo Modelo for approximately $188m.