The trade association has published the roadmap today (6 March) in a document entitled ‘A Clear Future: UK glass manufacturing sector decarbonisation roadmap to 2050‘, with the ultimate aim of creating a low-carbon and prosperous glass manufacturing sector.

It has been published in response to the European Commission’s roadmap which established the intention to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050.

The roadmap sets out options to decarbonisation, identifies barriers to implementation and suggests solutions in the recommendations, according to the British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation.

The roadmap identifies three trajectories which achieve different levels of carbon reduction and require different levels of action to accomplish.

The trade association said that the summary document aims to display the information in an easy-to-digest way whilst the full report assesses each option in more detail.

The three key findings and recommendations of the report are:
·Decarbonisation must be sustainable
·Glass is a solution for a low-carbon economy
·Positive collaboration (between industry, policy makers, consultants, academics and other stakeholders) is key to finding powerful and practical solutions.

This report coincides with the beginning of a Government project to map out the long-term actions required to decarbonise eight different energy intensive industries between now and 2050, including the glass sector.
This project is being led by DECC and BIS with collaboration between industry and lead academics and carried out by an independent consultant.

British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation environmental manager Jenni Staves said: “It is often the CO² footprint of glass manufacturing that is scrutinised but the positives of products that the industry creates – windows which save energy, solar panels and fibre glass wind turbines, for example – are overlooked.

“Instead of penalising the manufacturing process, we should be incentivising the production of products using this 100% recyclable material.

“The glass sector is looking forward to engagement on this and to opening up the debate. We aim to contribute to the discussion on the future policies of the European Commission and member states as we believe that this project marks the start of a very real journey to decarbonisation for the UK’s manufacturing sector.”

Elsewhere, glass industry leaders have recently called for more glass packaging in a bid to keep food fresher for longer and combat the UK’s ongoing food waste problem.

Following the UK’s first ‘Fresher for Longer’ conference on 5 February and the release of new food waste research by World Bank last week (27 February), more attention is being given to packaging and the role it plays in minimising food waste.

However, glass industry leaders say that glass packaging deserves more prominence as a recommended material as they claim that it is impermeable and has a natural ability to preserve the freshness of the food and drink it contains.

British Glass head of container affairs Rebecca Cocking said: “There is a long list of good reasons to opt for glass packaging including better taste, better preservation, better recyclability.

“Manufacturers have also been working hard to make lighter robust glass bottles and jars for the food and beverage industry, such as the latest lightweight Coca Cola bottle. By helping reduce the amount of food waste, glass packaging also has an important role to play in reducing harmful greenhouse gases that arise from food waste sent to landfill.”

Liz Gyekye

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