Glass is basically manufactured using materials like soda ash, limestone and silica. These materials are mostly obtained after certain mining activities that have a detrimental impact on the environment and the surrounding ecosystem. The overall production process of glass also drives emission of harmful gases like nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and Sulphur.
As a solution, glass cullet are increasingly used in the glass manufacturing process. The product acts as a substitute to the aforementioned materials, and can help improve the productivity of the overall glass manufacturing process. The product use may help conserve raw materials and negate mining costs. Moreover, utilization of glass cullet may limit harmful gas emission and lower energy costs.
Speculating the product’s significance, Global Market Insights, Inc., anticipates that the recycled glass market might record over US$4.5 billion by 2026.
Nonetheless, complex manufacturing process involved in glass recycling could negatively impact industry growth. Presence of ferrous and non-ferrous metal contaminants in glass can lead to various challenges like clogging & jamming of injection ports, damage to furnace, and erosion of furnace lining.
Also, in the recycling process, the level of contaminants are required to be maintained to produce high quality glass. Though, with proper contaminant removal measures, these challenges can be mitigated, avoiding loss of quality in resultant glass products.
Elaborating on application, the recycled glass industry is bifurcated into glass bottle & containers, fiber glass, flat glass, highway beads, fillers and abrasives. Studies suggest that the glass bottles & containers application will be one of the fastest growing segments that might drive recycled glass demand. These products are widely used in the pharmaceutical and beauty & personal care industry. They are also excessively used with packaged food and beverage products.
On the other hand, the flat glass application is recording commendable demand owing to increasing application across architectural structures as well as for manufacturing mirrors and window glasses. Estimates project that segment may cross USD 600 million by late 2026.
Whereas the highway beads application is estimated to grow at over 7% CAGR in the coming years. The product is mostly made from recycled glass and is used in road and highway construction to improve the road visibility and ensure safety.
Considering the product source, curbside pickups are expected to be a vital time efficient method to obtain used glass. The technique can help with speedy recovery of used glass, and also facilitate locality cleanliness. Reports estimates that the segment, given to these benefits, may register a 7.5% CAGR over 2026
As for regional presence, North America is anticipated to record a sizable volume share in the recycled glass market by 2026. Governments in the region are offering grants and funding to facilitate glass recycling businesses.
In the U.S. alone, the Glass Recycling Foundation (GRF) was established to raise funds for supporting domestic glass recycling activities. By collaborating with Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC) and many recycled glass manufacturers, GRF could bring commendable investments, improving glass recycling rate in the U.S.