What is GlassPass?
GlassPass started as a research initiative for the Re-Fabrication program at the Royal Institute of British Architects. The research looked at the opportunities and challenges for the construction glass to be retrieved and fully up-cycled. The study showed that the logistics for construction glass up-cycling are in place, but there is still a shortage in demand and supply of clear glass cullets (recycled glass).
By the end of 2020, the Mayor of London released a pre-consultation draft of the Circular Economy Statement Guidance setting targets for recycled content in new-build projects, waste minimisation during construction, while encouraging design for disassembly and re-use at the end of life.
Born from the aspiration to ease the process of sourcing, re-manufacturing and specifying glazing products made from cullets, GlassPass acts as the number one platform to report, select and recycle glazing for buildings.
The UK construction industry generates around 200,000 tonnes of glass waste every year.
Despite having the potential to be remelted indefinitely, end-of-life construction glass is very rarely recycled into new flat glass.
Most of the construction glass waste goes either to landfill or is crushed and mixed with other aggregate materials. From the construction glass waste that is collected from the demolition site and taken to a recycling plant, most of it is downgraded and only a very marginal percentage is sent back to flat glass manufacturers to be remelted. Almost the entirety of the glass currently recycled by glass manufacturers comes either from their own plant or off cuts retrieved from window manufacturers, not glass that was installed. See diagram below.
"UK generates 200,000 tonnes of glass waste annually"
Currently, the main obstacles to recycling construction glass waste are ensuring the quality of the glass that is retrieved and that it contains no contaminants. Any contaminants within the recycled glass cullet could lead to a defective product batch, production loss and additional glass waste.
GlassPass helps sorting and identifying the composition of the glass so that it can be properly disassembled, stored and transported back to glass plants to be re-melted into new glass.
"Contaminated cullet could lead a defective product batch and additional waste"
By using Glass Pass and including recycled glass on glass production you will be:
Saving natural resources, by reducing the need of raw materials in the production;
Reducing carbon emissions ( 1 tonne of cullet saves 1.2 tonnes of raw materials and 0.3 tonnes of CO2 .
Reducing energy consumption. For every 10% of cullet used, 3% less energy is used (Saint-Gobain estimates that their inclusion of 40% cullet has saved 15% energy).;
Reducing waste sent to landfill and saving in related landfill taxes;
Saving in the overall life of the furnace, as the decreasing melting temperatures and a less corrosive batch can increase the life of the furnace by 30% .