Recycling Post-Consumer Glass: A Challenge and an Opportunity for the Flat Glass Industry


  • David Entwistle Saint-Gobain Glass



Closed loop recycling of end of life building glass rarely happens, with most glass manufacturers declaring less than 1% post-consumer content in their new glass. Instead, it follows a linear process and is often crushed together with other building materials and put into landfills or recovered to low grade fill applications. Could this be the most important challenge for the glass industry, as we consider strategies for combatting embodied emissions and creating a circular economy? This paper will utilise the findings from the author’s MSc Façade Engineering thesis and explain both the background to the study and how the lessons learned are now being applied. The thesis examined the barriers to recovering end of life glass from commercial projects in London, and identified the drivers that will open pathways for glass to be recycled. Data was collected from 57 interviews with key stakeholders (clients, developers, main contractors, façade engineers, architects, demolition contractors, waste management companies and cost consultants). The nature and scale of an investigation such as this, had not been undertaken before. This paper will explain how the lessons learned are being realized into a new way of working by dealing directly with clients and equipping the existing deconstruction supply chain. This provides a ‘cost and time’ effective solution and guarantees that end of life glass is being recovered back to new building glass.





Circularity & Sustainable Solutions