An innovative post-consumer glass recycling initiative developed jointly by leading integral blinds manufacturer Morley Glass and Saint-Gobain Glass is in the running for a G23 Award after being shortlisted in the Sustainability Initiative of the Year category.
The initiative has demonstrated, for the first time, that end-of-life, poorly performing double glazed units removed during window and door replacement contracts can be successfully diverted away from landfill, and converted into a high quality raw material for the manufacture of new float glass. This ‘closed loop’ recycling scheme has already won plaudits in the glass industry by winning a prestigious Glass Focus Award in late 2021, and now both companies are hoping to repeat their success in the fenestration industry’s Oscars.
Under the initiative, post-consumer IGUs are collected from installers by Morley Glass drivers at no cost when they deliver new Uni-Blinds® integral blind units, and these are then crushed to create cullet (crushed glass) back at its Leeds site. The cullet is bagged into one-tonne bags which are collected by Saint-Gobain Glass who then transport the cullet to their glass factory at Eggborough near Selby. Here, they process the material to remove any impurities in their state-of-the-art plant before using it as a raw material in place of finite materials including sand.
After starting life in 2021 as a small scale internal operation to recycle waste glass such as off-cuts from the Morley Glass factory, the initiative has quickly grown. Today, it has become a nationwide service to installers of Uni-Blinds® integral blinds, as well as many local window installers regardless of whether they buy products from the company.
To date, more than 1,300 tonnes of cullet has been diverted away from going to landfill which has saved the need for more than 1,700 tonnes of sand in the glass-making process and cut CO2 emissions by over 1,000 tonnes. The service is also helping installers save thousands of pounds every year on their waste disposal costs because they require fewer landfill skips.
Ian Short, MD of Morley Glass said, “We’re absolutely delighted to make it to the G-Awards finals for our recycling initiative and we can’t wait for the awards presentation evening. In partnership with Saint-Gobain we’ve developed a model that we hope others can adopt across the country, giving the industry a viable process to end the wasteful and potentially costly practice of simply throwing post-consumer sealed units into the general waste skip.”
Another unique dimension to the glass recycling initiative is that every penny generated through the production of cullet is placed into a fund called GreenVision to help charities, groups and individuals who are working to improve their local community through environmental or social projects. Grants of £500 are awarded to anyone who qualifies, and so far, it has benefitted good causes ranging from ‘village in bloom’ groups to budding sportsmen and women and a scheme to support young entrepreneurs.
Ian added, “It is tremendous to be shortlisted alongside so many other great companies, not only in the sustainability category but across all the awards. I’d like to wish all the finalists the very best of luck and I look forward to what is set to be an amazing awards evening in November!”
The G-Awards ceremony takes place at the prestigious London Hilton on Park Lane on Friday 24 November – full details are available at www.g-awards.com.
For more about the recycling initiative developed by Morley Glass and Saint-Gobain Glass visit www.morleyglass.co.uk.