Glass recycling and procurement by Owens Illinois: Proposed solution as part of the Innovative Glass Works plan

Following the broad consultation on the evolution of curbside recycling, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and Owens Illinois (O—I) would like to reiterate the importance they attach to ensuring that the glass collected through curbside services meets the quality requirements to be melted into new bottles at the Montréal plant. 

In recent years, ÉEQ has explored a range of solutions to optimize the sorting, processing and recycling of the glass collected through curbside services. A rigorous approach overseen by a team of experts to generate high-quality glass that meets the needs of conditioners and recyclers led to the development of the Innovative Glass Works plan. Since September 2017, five experimental glass sorting and cleaning pilot projects have been implemented in five sorting centres in an effort to set out concrete solutions for 100% of the glass collected through curbside recycling. It should be noted that these advancements have already served to increase the recycling rate for glass collected through curbside services from 14% in 2015 to nearly 50% today.

“The Innovative Glass Works plan, to which we have all pledged our support and devoted our collective efforts, is already yielding highly encouraging results. A solution is imminent and, if things work as we hope, we will be able to provide the Owens Illinois plant with a stable and high-quality local supply in conjunction with its current supply of glass from the deposit system, with a view to fostering a circular economy. That is our common goal,” affirmed Marie Julie Bégin, vice-president, Compensation Plan, ÉEQ, Catherine Dagenais, vice-president and chief operating officer, SAQ and François Carrier, plant manager, O—I Montréal.

The search for concrete solutions is the focus of the work and analyses carried out by the monitoring committee for the experimental pilot projects to sort and clean glass collected through curbside recycling assembled by Éco Entreprises Québec and RECYC-QUÉBEC on the request of the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, of which the Société des alcools du Québec and Owens Illinois are members.

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