NERC's Minimum Post-Consumer Recycling Content Legislation Aims to Boost Glass Markets

Stefanie Valentic, Editorial Director

January 12, 2022

2 Min Read
WIN-Initiative/Neleman/Getty Images

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) has released its Glass Minimum Post-Consumer Recycled Content Model Legislation.

The draft legislation is the result of an eight-month collaborative effort between government, industry, trade associations and non-profits to bolster demand for recycled glass.

Chris Nelson, Supervising Environmental Analyst of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, referring to the “highly-recyclable” nature of glass, saying that “the post-consumer recycled content standards for new glass products proposed in this model legislation are one tool to help create more robust markets for glass recovered through recycling programs.”  

Minimum post-consumer recycled content requirements for the material would be required in glass food and beverage containers, and fiberglass insulation. 

The end-goal of the model legislation is not only to curate markets for post-consumer glass and reduce the amount of the material going to landfills, but also to amplify use of “post-consumer cullet in manufacturing new beverage and food containers, fiberglass insulation, ground glass pozzolan and foamed glass aggregate.”

Two years after the legislation is enacted, MRFs would be required to report on an annual basis the quantity of post-consumer glass sent to processors or manufacturers as well as a measured weight of post-consumer glass that makes its way to landfills or for use in alternative daily cover via contamination. The information would be available to the public. MRF operators found in non-compliance would have 30 days to correct their actions.

The work group behind the legislation comprised of more than 60 members from various brands, glass container manufacturers, haulers and MRF operators and more.

Ed Ferguson, director of sustainability, Anheuser-Busch, and one of the work group’s chairs, stated that “we know that true circularity requires collaboration across supply chains, government and consumers and we hope this model legislation can help create solutions to reduce glass waste, support the circular economy and build a future with more cheers.”

About the Author(s)

Stefanie Valentic

Editorial Director, Waste360

Stefanie Valentic is the editorial director of Waste360. She can be reached at [email protected].


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