Glass containers are good for the environment, at least that is the word from the very first cradle to grave study on the Life Cycle Assessment of glass containers. The recent study proved that in almost every aspect of environmental concern, glass containers store highly.
A Life Cycle Assessment is the study of a product from raw materials, to creation, to use, disposal, and finally recycling.
This particular study of glass container Life Cycle Assessment was conducted with cooperation from Glass Packaging Institute and PE Americas, which is a sustainability consultancy. Every possible step of life cycle was taken into account, from the material extraction to the end use.
Data was collected from more than 100 furnaces and the first result was to discover that the utilization of recycled glass as raw material decreased the primary energy demand. It also significantly lowered carbon emissions.
Other industries have accused that glass containers increase the carbon footprint because their weight necessitates burning of more fuel during transport. The study dismisses this by showing that less than 5 per cent of all the energy used for the production of glass containers goes to transportation.
While every glass container makes its own carbon footprint, recycle rates currently offset the impact of the CO2.
This Life Cycle Assessment study was very transparent and thoroughly conducted in a deliberate effort to prove that glass container production can be a responsible and helpful steward of the environment.
American Glass Industry representatives advise that other container industries conduct full Life Cycle Assessments of their materials and products in order to give business and consumers a fair benchmark for comparison of the impact of their products on the environment.