March 5, 2001

New markets needed for Blue Box green glass

Consumers Glass, Canada's only manufacturer of glass containers, has decided to stop producing green glass containers and has advised its supplier, Nexcycle Industries, in Guelph, Ont, to stop buying green recycled glass obtained through municipal Blue Box curbside recycling programs across Ontario.

Nexcycle purchases clear, amber and green recycled glass from Blue Box program operators. It colour-sorts and processes the glass to meet Consumers' specifications for cullet. Consumers uses this colour-sorted cullet as a raw material to make new glass containers. New clear containers can be made only from clear cullet; both green and amber are used to make containers of these colours.

The production of green glass provides the main opportunity to use recycled green glass, but Gordon Stewart, vice-president of operations for Consumers, indicated that a decline in customer demand for green bottles had led the company to assign production of green glass to a plant outside Ontario.

"While the company considered using Ontario curbside green recycled glass to supply cullet to other Consumers plants, this was rejected due to transportation costs and specification factors," he explained.

The company has been making green bottles in Ontario for over 75 years and has been using green cullet obtained through Blue Box recycling programs ever since the programs first began. Alternative markets for curbside green and three-colour mixed recycled glass are possible, and Consumers has been involved with a CSR: Corporations Supporting Recycling task group dedicated to developing alternative markets, and has indicated that it will continue to assist recyclers through the work of this group.

More information is available from Gordon Stewart at Consumers Glass, 416/232-3282, or CSR: Corporations Supporting Recycling, 416/594-3456.

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