Going green with automotive glass
April 9, 2009 – Vi-Max has announced that one of its partners, UniglassPlus, has made a commitment to make a difference and help protect the environment by being the first to recycle glass in the automotive industry.
Vi-Max has announced that one of its partners, UniglassPlus, has made a commitment to make a difference and help protect the environment by being the first to recycle glass in the automotive industry. The company says that taking this initiative clearly demonstrates that UniglassPlus wants to protect the environment and that going green will help reduce the quantity of energy used to manufacture glass as well as reduce the use of raw materials.
From April 1 to May 31, UniglassPlus will ensure that all windshields replaced during that period go into the recycling bins distributed to dealers rather than into landfills in “greening” the automotive sector. Spring is a good season for recovering automotive glass because this is when the dealer network replaces the most windshields.
“We first want to ensure the viability of such an initiative in ecological terms, by taking into account the life cycle of the process so as to measure the net effect on the environment,” says Sylvain Gosselin, director of operations. “If the results are conclusive, we will extend the practice to the entire year.”
“When it comes to protecting the environment, every action counts,” says Danièle Courchesne, who acts as an environmental consultant for UniglassPlus. “I’m convinced that even a business in the automotive sector can do its part—just look at the hybrid and electric cars we are starting to see on the road.”
Every year some 250,000 windshields are replaced in Canada. A windshield weighs 20 pounds on average, meaning that some 2,300 tonnes of automotive glass could be reintroduced into the consumption cycle and thus avoid landfills. Glass is 70 percent silica sand and can be recycled endlessly. After it is recovered, it is crushed in grinders and the cullet obtained is sifted to eliminate impurities. It is then re-melted with a specific amount of raw materials. The result is a glass paste, ready to be processed.
Using this cullet reduces the energy needed to produce glass by about 25 percent. Recycling glass also reduces pressure on resources by reducing the amount of raw materials required.