O-I’s team in Brazil recently announced two exciting new partnerships that increase post-consumer glass recycling, reduce consumer waste, and conserve resources in Brazil.
The partnerships – with the Recicleiros Institute, a civil society organization, and Orizon, one of the country’s largest private landfill companies – support O-I’s ambitious goal of increasing cullet, or recycled glass, in our glass containers. The partnerships demonstrate the feasibility of glass recycling as an integral part of the circular economy in Brazil.
In Brazil, long distance logistics and current collection systems are the main barriers to increasing recycled content.
Until recently, almost 60% of glass packaging in Brazil ended up in landfills and dumps due to logistical challenges faced by a lack of collection and processing infrastructure. The situation is even more complex in small municipalities further from glass recycling locations.
Glass recycling industry and the base of the chain co-operating
The exclusive agreement with The Recicleiros Institute will recycle all post-consumer glass packaging processed in the Recicleiros Cidades Program’s current and future sorting units across Brazil. O-I expects to recover about 3,000 tons of glass in the project’s first year.
“We want to increase glass recycling in regions of the country where it was not yet feasible. By promoting the base of the chain and the sale of this material by cooperatives directly to the industry, we encourage the generation of jobs and income, as well as the reduction of the extraction of virgin raw material from the environment, the reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions,” said Alexandre Macário, manager of the Circular Economy area at O-I.
Recovering post consumption glass from landfills
Orizon operates the Jaboatão dos Guararapes Ecopark in Pernambuco, the largest sorting operation in Latin America. The company manages 15 Ecoparks in the country, taking care of the waste generated by more than 40 million people in 10 Brazilian states, corresponding to 20% percent of the population.
“A great differential of the partnership with Orizon is that we are now also capturing glass from regular urban collection (not selective collection) and on a large scale,” Macário said. “The operation we are carrying out to remove glass from landfills and take it directly to the industry is unprecedented in the country and reflects our efforts to encourage the professionalization of the recycling chain, which generates employment and income, in addition, of course, to increasing the volume of recycled material.”
O-I is committed to supporting sustainability. Read more about how we’re working across the value chain to improve recycling in our sustainability report.