Archive for the ‘Glass news’ Category

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.

Consumers agree that Glass is good for you and the Environment

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Friends of Glass were delighted to see that consumers know that when they buy products in glass, they can be sure about the natural choice they are making for their families and the environment.


According to the recent Waste and Resource Action Programme’s report “Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging” glass jars and bottles are seen as ones of the least concerning packaging materials.


No wonder, glass is a pure and natural product with an added bonus: there is no migration between glass and its contents. Ingredients such as flavourings and vitamins are therefore preserved for a long time without any change in flavour.


The survey also showed that glass jars and bottles are seen as one of the easiest materials to recycle, The glass you put in the bottle-bank is recycled to make new glass, a process that can be completed time and time again, with no loss in quality.  Also, the more glass is recycled, the less energy and raw materials are consumed.


Did you know, recycling a single bottle could power a PC for 25 minutes, a colour television for 20 minutes or a washing machine for 10 minutes!


*Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging Report 2013


Baileys Unveils New Bottle Design

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Friends of Glass were interested to see Baileys Original Irish Cream has changed the shape of its famous bottle


While the original Baileys glass bottle was very distinctive, the new slim-line design allows for storage in the fridge – and important factor for those Baileys’ fans who prefer to drink it chilled. Garbhan O’Bric, Baileys global brand director commented:


“As one of the most-loved female spirits brands in the world, we need to not only to appeal to current Baileys consumers and adorers, but ensure we also appeal to each new generation of progressive, savvy and spirited women.”


Available worldwide from March 2013, the bottle gives more prominence to the ‘Double B’ brand icon and has a refreshed label to compliment the new look.


Do you love it or loathe it? Let us know what you think about the new Baileys’ glass bottle. Leave a comment below or get in touch with us on Facebook or tweet us @FriendsofGlassUK.


Glass Keeps our Food Fresher for Longer

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Friends of Glass welcomes the new research from Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which shows that only 13% of us realise that packaging can play an important role in protecting food in our homes. Storing our food in its packaging can help keep it fresher for longer, saving us money and reducing food waste.


Not surprisingly the research found that after price, freshness and how long food lasts for are the most important factors for us when we go shopping. We all want to make sure our food is at its best for longer so that we don’t have to throw it, and our money, in the bin.


Friends of Glass thinks that glass is definitely a friend when it comes to reducing food waste.  Glass is virtually impermeable to oxygen so it keeps your food and drink fresher for longer and preserves the flavour! Here are 5 great ways glass can help reduce food waste in your kitchen.


This new research study, Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging, delivered in partnership with INCPEN, The Packaging Federation, The Food and Drink Federation, Kent Waste Partnership and The British Retail Consortium, has been published last week by the Government waste body – Waste and Recycling Action Programme (WRAP).


Industry partners said: “Food waste is a global issue. We all have a role to play in reducing it –  manufacturers, retailers and consumers, and there are many ways of doing it. Keeping food in its specifically designed packaging, and following the dates and storage guidance that appears on the pack is a great start. We have made significant progress in this area, but there is still more that we can do to help reduce food waste, reduce the environmental impact and ultimately save consumers money”.



An Ocean of Trouble?

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There are lots of reasons why we love glass. When you hold glass, you can feel true quality in your hands. It has the unique ability to being able to be crafted into a variety of textures, shapes and colours, thereby create iconic brands and truly inspirational packaging.


Consumers who choose glass also know that they are making the best choice for their family’s health. Glass is non-reactive, a great protector of food and drink, safe to use over and over again in your home and definitely adds some class to your dinner party ;)


But most importantly, glass is probably the most sustainable material available. Last week’s Newsnight programme reminded us how sometimes our actions can have unintended consequences. It pointed out a particular problem with plastic in our oceans and how its tiny fragments are being found in plant and animal life. Glass is inert and made from three simple ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash.  It is a material that treads more gently on the Earth.


For those of you who haven’t seen the programme yet, you can watch it by clicking the link here.


Friends of Glass would be very interested to hear your suggestions on how we can solve the problem it describes.


Leave a comment below or get in touch with us on Facebook or tweet us @FriendsofGlassUK.


Beck’s Goes Even Greener With New Lightweight Glass Bottles

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Earlier this month Beck’s introduced a new lightweight glass bottle in the UK with the aim of cutting carbon emissions. The 275 ml bottles are around 11% (20g) lighter than before.


The company predicts that they will save around 2,500 tonnes of glass next year and reduce its CO2 emissions by almost 2,000 tonnes, which equates to enough energy to supply power to 380 UK households for a year.


Marketing Director for Beck’s Western Europe, Fabienne Rollot said: “This change is just one of the ways in which we are improving our environmental performance and making our iconic green glass bottles even greener.”


Friends of Glass are very happy to see the company’s commitment to improving its environmental performance and think that glass is the perfect packaging material for beer bottles, as it protects the taste better than any other container. It never interferes with what’s inside and keeps your drink cooler for longer. What’s not to like? :)


SodaStream takes a pop at the Soft Drinks industry

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We couldn’t help but notice a bold ad by SodaStream in the nationals this week. It states:


“This week, our TV advertisement has been banned from being shown on UK TV because the major commercial broadcasters have ruled it ‘denigrates the soft drinks industry’. This is the same soft drinks industry which spends £39million in TV advertising each yearIn the UK, we dispose of 35 million plastic bottles every day* and only 26% of these are recycled. An estimated 8% of world oil consumption is used in manufacturing plastic** and this doesn’t include transportation.For some this truth is uncomfortable, but should it be banned from being told? Clearcast and the major UK commercial broadcasterts seem to think so…”


What do you think? Is this fair comment or not? Friends of Glass would like to hear your comments on this, please tweet us @GlassFriendsUK or contact us on Facebook.


Why ‘rightweight’ not ‘lightweight’ is the way forward in packaging

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The recent article “RPC provides barrier jars to well-known Spanish olive firm” published on Packaging News has raised an interesting question: can plastic bottles really be more environmentally friendly than glass? Spanish olives in plastic bottles may weigh less, making some savings in transport costs and carbon emissions on the road, but what about recyclability?


Glass is one of the most natural materials available made from three simple ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash. Those ingredients make glass endlessly, 100% recyclable. Glass also helps keep food fresher for longer and is the only packaging material that doesn’t need extra layers to protect your olives from tasting like anything but olives.


“The new jar has been specifically developed to meet the needs of the olive industry, according to RPC” says the article. However we support the view of Linpac Packaging’s business manager Erwan Cadoret, who earlier this month argued that ‘rightweighting’ and not ‘lightweighting’ packaging is the way forward:


“It is essential that we respond to our customers and adapt the way we operate to meet those demands, yet it is fundamental that we do not compromise on efficiency and quality in doing so as the consequences of that are more far reaching.”


He also says  that lightweighting was happening across the industry, and that the phrase ‘rightweighting’ – doing more with less material – should actually be the goal and replace lightweighting as a phrase.


Glass can actually lower your carbon footprint compared to other packaging*. For example, only 4-5% of any form of packaging’s carbon footprint comes from transportation, and glass typically offsets that by being 100% recyclable without any loss of quality or purity.


Comparing materials is not the answer, as all materials are different. However, it’s important to look at the total lifecycle of packaging which includes not only shipping and transport, but also raw material extraction, manufacturing, and recycling or disposal. Ultimately, because glass recycles endlessly, making new bottles often requires fewer raw materials and less energy.


*O-I’s Life Cycle Assessment



In a jam about jars? Read on….

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There’s been lots of talk about whether it’s safe to reuse glass jam jars recently and at Friends of Glass, we’re quite flummoxed by all the fuss! Glass itself of course is absolutely safe – the issue of the original concern was about food hygiene and the importance of ensuring no bacteria can remain from previous food stuffs to contaminate your lovely new jam or preserves. So how to prevent this from happening? You must simply always sterilise thoroughly the glass containers and lids before reuse.


Still worried? here’s a few facts everyone should know about glass – please share them with your friends!


  1. Glass is inert: it doen’t react chemically with the food and drink it contains. It remains one of the purest and safest types of packaging available.
  2. When reusing glass jars, always sterilise thoroughly. The risk of contamination from bacteria doesn’t come from the glass but from any food stuffs that have not been cleaned properly from the container or lid.  Take a look at this easy tutorial on how to sterilise jars from Jamie’s food team to make sure you know how to do it properly.
  3. Glass is the only food packaging material classified as Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). (
  4. There is no difference in the glass used to make Kilner jars and ordinary jam jars, beer bottles, machine-made tableware and even window glass. It is all made using soda ash, limestone and sand. Kilner jars are often bought specifically for use when making jam or preserves. They of course can then be reused again and again as with all other types of container glass, providing the above sterilisation process is followed after each use.
  5. Glass is 100% recyclable without losing quality
  6. Glass preserves the natural flavour and appearance of products for a long time without the need for preservatives. Glass containers are also easy to reseal and keep products fresher for longer once they’ve been opened.



Councils Aim for Gold for Glass Recycling

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Following the success of the Olympics, a number of councils across the UK are stepping up their glass recycling efforts by taking advantage of the additional material that has been consumed in the last month.


Bedford Borough, Cherwell District and Plymouth City Councils have all rolled out extra glass recycling facilities and services to residents to help reduce the amount of glass going to landfill and energy recovery.


In Plymouth, 15,000 homes are set to take part in a kerbside glass collection pilot. From September, residents in the pilot area will be able to put their glass containers in their existing recycling bags or bins.


Meanwhile Cherwell District Council in Oxfordshire is handing out free reusable bags to residents to help them collect their glass containers following the celebration of a ‘hugely successful Olympics’.


Commenting on the bags, Councillor Nigel Morris, Cherwell’s lead member for clean and green, said:


“Sending it to landfill is clearly bad for the environment especially when glass is so easy to recycle, and when kept separate is worth four times more than when it’s mixed. I would urge everyone to pick up a bag and use it to take their bottles to the nearest recycling bank, which for most should be just a stone’s throw away.”


Bedford Borough Council is also taking advantage of the increase in glass containers available by rolling out extra containers at the busiest bottle banks in the borough.


Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “We are committed to continuing to improve waste and recycling services in the borough. We hope that these additional facilities will make glass recycling more convenient for residents, which will in turn help to increase the council’s recycling rate and reduce the amount of glass needlessly going to landfill.”


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