The first foundation focused solely on funding glass recycling initiatives was formed on April 16. The Glass Recycling Foundation (GRF) is a nonprofit organization formed to provide and raise funds for localized and targeted assistance, demonstration and pilot projects that address gaps in the glass recycling supply chain across the United States.
“Glass bottles and containers are endlessly recyclable,” said Lynn Bragg, board president of GRF, in a statement. “The Glass Recycling Foundation will impact communities by funding projects to recover more and higher quality glass.”
Board members offer diverse expertise in representing companies and organizations like Owens-Illinois, Diageo, Strategic Materials, Northeast Recycling Council, the Recycling Partnership, Urban Mining NE and California State University, Chico.
GRF will collaborate with the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC), which consists of nearly 40 members from the entire glass recycling value chain including materials recovery facilities, glass recyclers, local government organizations, end markets and brands. Since 2016, GRC has highlighted best practices in glass recycling processing, collection and collaboration. The organization has focused on opportunities to make an impact in glass recycling on a local level, and GRF will support these efforts for scalable projects.
“GRF will be instrumental in bringing much-needed investments to glass recycling and partnering with other funding opportunities to make glass recycling a high-quality and convenient service that consumers want and expect,” said Laura Hennemann, Strategic Materials, Inc. and GRF executive board member, in a statement
GRF aims to increase the availability of cullet, the industry term for furnace-ready recycled glass that can become new bottles and jars, as well as fiberglass. According to GRF:
- Currently, 81 percent of U.S. recycling programs include glass collection options for residents.
- While many recyclables rely on export markets, the end market for recycled glass is primarily domestic.
- Recycling glass containers helps U.S. glass container and fiberglass manufacturing plants remain competitive and protects U.S. jobs.
- According to a 2018 study by the Glass Recycling Coalition, 93 percent of consumers and residents expect to be able to recycle their glass containers.