Although using recycled glass in furnaces saves valuable raw materials, reduces energy consumption and lowers emissions of CO2 a study, commissioned by WRAP, was conducted into promoting sustainable waste management with regard to wine bottles.
Wine bottles contribute significantly both to the waste stream and the green glass excess as the UK is the world’s largest importer of wines with annual consumption exceeding 1000 million litres. Much of this wine arrives bottled in green glass thus creating the imbalance in the supply and demand of green glass.
The study set out to find measures that would improve the utilisation of waste glass, especially those that would allow the glass to be recycled through the melting furnace which is considered to be the best environmental option.
The study concluded the greatest potential benefit on cullet recovery, would be filling bulk-shipped wine in UK-produced green bottles. Secondary potential benefit would be to persuade wine producers to bottle their product in clear (flint) glass rather than green. An increase in the proportion of clear bottles in the waste stream would assist.