Brings 50 New Green Jobs to Region
eCullet, a technology-based glass recycling company, and Saint-Gobain Containers (SGCI), the nation's largest manufacturer of wine bottles, announced today a precedent-setting recycling initiative at the opening of eCullet's new South Seattle recycling plant.
eCullet is a state-of-the-art cullet (crushed recycled glass) processing facility located next to SGCI's glass container manufacturing plant. Its patented automated technology is based on a non-intrusive optical sorting of glass cullet. Considered the next generation of glass recycling technology, eCullet's process involves removing post-consumer waste glass from the recycling stream and converting it into clean, color-sorted, contaminant-free, furnace-ready glass cullet for glass container manufacturers to produce new "green" glass containers. eCullet will source locally from recycling programs in the greater Seattle and Vancouver, BC areas.
"We are proud to be part of the ever increasing community of companies committed to the conservation of resources," said Craig London, CEO of eCullet. "We are also excited to introduce about 50 new green jobs to the Seattle area."
Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly. Of the 8.4 million metric tons of glass containers sold in the US on an annual basis, only 25% is currently being reintroduced into the glass container manufacturing process, with the remaining 75% being diverted into landfills or other secondary uses. eCullet's technology has the potential to dramatically increase the recovery and use of recycled glass.
"By using eCullet's ground-breaking technology, Saint-Gobain Containers aims to increase the amount of recycled content used to manufacture new glass containers at our Seattle plant from 17% to 35%, with the potential to increase more in the future," said Peter Walters, Vice-President of Purchasing and Distribution for Saint-Gobain Containers. "Since we produce about 350 million bottles per year at this plant, this is a critical step to help us reach our company-wide goal of using 50% recycled content by 2013."
The environmental and manufacturing benefits of recycling glass include: reduced air emissions, increase of furnace life, 4-5% reduced energy usage for every 10% increase in cullet (the increased recycled content in Seattle will result in a 9% reduction in energy usage), and reduced need to use raw materials in the manufacturing process.
The environmental benefits of the technology extend to customers as well. SGCI's Seattle plant's largest customer in the Pacific Northwest is Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville. The increased recycled content in SGCI's bottles allows the Winery to further reflect its own commitment to sustainable practices.
The new eCullet facility, located at 5801 East Marginal Way South, coincides with "Recycle Glass Week", an event presented by the Glass Packaging Institute (the trade association representing the North American glass container industry). Events took place September 21-25 throughout the United States.
eCullet is a technology-based glass recycling company founded in Silicon Valley. eCullet was established with a mission to increase glass recycling. Its goal is to reduce the cost of glass recycling and make it financially attractive for all parties involved to recycle glass such that the consumers, the environment, regulators and container manufacturing companies all benefit. eCullet originally received grant money from the California Department of Conservation (DOC) and a low-interest loan from the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) because of the innovative nature of its glass sorting and recycling technology. eCullet built its first pilot plant in Oakland, California. For more information, visit www.ecullet.com.
ABOUT SAINT-GOBAIN CONTAINERS INC.
Saint-Gobain Containers Inc. is the second largest glass container manufacturer in the United States and serves the wine, beer, beverage, spirits and food container markets with 13 strategically located plants, supported by a state-of-the-art machine shop and distribution center. Saint-Gobain Containers is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, an international industrial group based in Paris, France, and the largest glass manufacturer in the world. Saint-Gobain Containers, along with its parent company Saint-Gobain, was named as the 2009 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for energy management. In addition, SGCI is the only glass container manufacturer to be a member of Climate Leaders, an EPA industry-government partnership that works to develop comprehensive strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, visit www.sgcontainers.com.
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Parsons Public Relations