As concern about the environmental impacts of single-use plastics grows, glassmakers are optimistic that this could be their opportunity to win back customers.
However, as The Wall Street Journal points out, glass containers often break, which could damage machinery at materials recovery facilities or injure recycling workers. Glass is also heavy to transport, leading to increased fuel use.
The glass industry is now attempting to boost glass recycling rates by funding separate glass collection programs in areas that lack the infrastructure.
The Wall Street Journal has more:
Glassmakers are betting the backlash against single-use plastics can stem a decadeslong decline in the use of their bottles and jars. First they have to boost poor glass-recycling rates that undercut the material’s environmental pitch.
Once the packaging kingpin for milk, ketchup, beer and soft drinks, glass has been muscled aside by lighter, unbreakable materials such as plastic and aluminum. Today, just 1% of U.S. soda comes in glass bottles, down from nearly 58% in 1975, according to Beverage Marketing Corp., a consulting firm. Over the same period, plastic jumped to 32.5% from nothing.
Now, mounting concern about the environmental impacts of single-use plastic is dampening its appeal for some consumers. That is prompting consumer-goods companies like Nestlé SA, PepsiCo Inc. and Unilever PLC to explore refillable packaging and alternative materials.