How can minerals and other materials solutions support a more sustainable glass industry?
The glass industry has made good progress in reducing its environmental footprint over the years through improved energy efficiency, waste reduction, increased recycling and new product development. But the high-temperature, energy-intensive nature of glassmaking, combined with growing demand for high-quality raw materials, means that manufacturers still face big challenges if the industry is to maintain a competitive edge in a low-carbon economy. As one of the world’s leading providers of minerals and cullet for the glass industry, Sibelco has been looking at new material solutions to help customers achieve more sustainable manufacturing processes.
Ensuring access to responsibly -mined materials
At Sibelco, we are committed to the responsible management of all of our mineral deposits, ensuring a sustainable supply of high-quality materials for our customers based on long-term resource management. Thanks to this commitment to sustainable mineral extraction, Sibelco has permitted access to some 20 years of high-quality silica sand reserves globally, together with long-term supplies of other glass minerals including dolomite, nepheline and feldspar. Our aim is to continuously maintain this level of reserves, creating certainty for our customers and their future strategies.
Optimisation of materials
The materials used in a glass batch can reduce or increase melting temperatures, as well as affecting reject levels and end-glass quality. Optimisation of these materials requires in-depth understanding and expertise. At Sibelco, we have established a Centre of Excellence for Glass with a dedicated team of glass industry experts, scientists and lab technicians. In collaboration with external partners, we have been conducting extensive research and development focused on existing and new materials to create new solutions and optimise our customers’ results.
Sibelco is at the forefront of glass recycling in Europe, each year sourcing and transforming over 1 million tonnes of glass waste into high-quality cullet. Beyond cullet, Sibelco is exploring further possibilities for secondary raw materials, such as slags, ashes and other by-products. Secondary materials will only be feasible for use in glass manufacturing if they meet strict criteria for consistency, quality and availability.
Read more in our white paper: Sustainable-Glass-Industry
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