Archive for May, 2013

Good news for glass as supermarkets and brands agree to cut food and drink waste

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It’s great to see that the grocery sector continues to show its commitment to reducing food and drink waste as 45 signatories joined the third phase of an industry commissioned voluntary agreement to reduce packaging and food waste, known as the Courtauld Commitment, earlier this month.


Signatories to the agreement, including; all major grocery retailers, many household brands, and manufacturers, could reduce waste by 1.1 million tonnes by 2015, bringing £1.6 billion of cost benefits to consumers and the industry**.


The agreement aims to reduce household food and drink waste by 5%, which is great if you are a friend of glass, as glass is inert and virtually impermeable to oxygen, and thereby keeping food and drink fresher for longer.


There is also a target to reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3%.


The third major aim of this ambitious plan is to improve packaging design throughout the supply chain to maximise recycled content, by improving recyclability and delivering product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging.


We believe that glass can really help to achieve these targets. Glass is made from three simple ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash and is 100 per cent and endlessly recyclable.  This results in less energy and natural resources being used, which is good for all of us.



** All of the forecast impacts (tonnage, environmental and financial) are based on retaining the same coverage in waste terms as for Courtauld 2.

Trashed – No Place for Waste!

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We recently came across the new documentary about global waste “Trashed” and couldn’t help but share this with you. In this film, Academy Award winning actor Jeremy Irons explores some of the world’s most environmentally polluted places to reveal the extent of how our rubbish is affecting us and our planet.


In this visual and emotionally-charged film, Jeremy takes us on a journey to explore the risks to the food chain and the environment by the rising tide of household waste found at sea.


Jeremy says “There is a clear feeling from a growing number of people that the time has come for us all to start to try and change our ways, and to endeavour to live a more careful life.”


This movie is a positive, if alarming wakeup call. It ends on a message of hope – we can all do something to help stop the problem, all we need to do is take small actions every day!


One easy place to start is in our choice of packaging. By choosing to buy our favourite foods and drinks in glass, we can do our bit to ensure more is recycled rather than dumped.  Did you know that glass is one of the most sustainable types of packaging? Glass is inert and made from three simple ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash and  can be recycled over and over again without any loss in quality.


Find more information about the documentary here.







Why Lucy Loves Glass – and We Love Lucy!

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We were fascinated to read Lucy Siegle’s column in the Observer magazine, where she responded to a reader’s enquiry : “Are plastic jars worse for the environment?”.


In her article, Lucy asks, “Why don’t companies package their products the way they used to?”  She says “Many brands claim they’re being greener by shifting into some new fancy-pants type of plastic (as opposed to saving money). Glass is inert and straightforward (it is essentially sand, soda ash and limestone) and keeps products fresh without plastic films and barriers. It is also highly recyclable – scrap glass, cullet, is a key production ingredient for new glass.”


After weighing up the environmental pros and cons of both materials, she concludes “I urge you to remain a glass purist. While it’s hard to stem the rising tide of plastic packaging, plastic waste – from bottles to the tiny beads called mermaid’s tears – is wreaking havoc on oceans especially. Nothing against PET, the most widely used and recycled plastic… but glass wins for me.”


Glass recycling and reuse contribute significantly to reducing glass packaging’s carbon footprint. It’s resource efficient packaging so it can be reused in its original form over and over again without any loss in quality.


Several initiatives currently under way in the glass industry will further increase the efficiency of glass packaging. This includes efforts to improve the recycling rates of glass jars and bottles, leading to a decrease in energy use and global warming potential. Also, the continuing process to light weight glass containers, which helps reduce raw material usage, emissions, energy used and overall weight.


Friends of Glass would like to know which grocery products you miss being packaged in glass and why? Tweet us @glassfriendsuk or get in touch on Facebook.