All systems green
In Switzerland, we began recycling glass in the 1970s. Using raw materials and energy responsibly is a key element in environmental sustainability. Vetropack creates economic, environmental and social value. Glass packaging – from waste glass recovery to recyclable premium product.
Glass is a natural substance and 100% recyclable without suffering any loss of quality. Glass is the embodiment of sustainable packaging and should always be the first choice for health-conscious and environmentally-aware consumers.
Recycling improves the environmental balance
Recycling is the way to go, both ecologically and economically. Reusing used glass has hugely improved the environmental balance of glass production in just a few decades: in the last 25 years, thanks to recycling and technological innovations, the European glass packaging industry has reduced its CO2 emissions and waste production by 75%. For the production of clear and brown glass, we can use up to 60% used glass, and for new green glass as much as 100%. The quality of the material that is collected and how it is processed are vital. In our production of glass packaging, we create added value in relation to all three aspects of sustainability: economic, social and environmental.
Our aim is to continuously improve the sustainable production methods used in glass manufacture. We are working on reducing our use of materials and energy in production and during transportation.
Total energy consumption in GWh
Glassmaking requires a lot of energy. 83 percent are covered by natural gas.
Mixing ratio of raw materials to used glass
The percentage of used glass relates to the Vetropack Group as a whole. In individual glassworks, used glass makes up as much as 85 percent.
Greenhouse gas emissions by source
Heating energy for the furnaces makes up over 60 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from production.
We take responsibility for the environment: improving our environmental footprint
Four main factors determine the carbon footprint of an item of glass packaging: the energy required for its production, the proportion of used glass, the distance that it is transported to the bottling company and the choice of means of transport. Glass production requires high temperatures of about 1600° Celsius. The challenge is to increase the energy efficiency of the melting process. The latest generation of machines preheat the mixture of raw materials and so require less energy for the melting itself. At the same time, better use can be made of the waste heat from the furnaces, for example, for centralised heating of surrounding buildings.
Lightweight glass technology and short transport routes
Lightweight glass technologies that enable thin-walled glass containers to be produced with the same strength and stability, make a significant reduction in the CO2 footprint of a glass packaging item. For everyday glass bottles, the savings in CO2 emissions that can be achieved by weight reduction can be between 12 and 17%. If a bottle is sold within the region and transported by rail, its energy balance improves even further.