New Delhi study finds that glass is the most sustainable material for packaging

According to a New Delhi study commissioned by the All India Glass Manufacturers’ Federation, the human toxicity potential of glass packaging is the lowest when being compared to plastic, metal and paper. The results were part of the first-ever lifecycle assessment study of the Indian glass industry.

The study was led by companies in India and included Hindusthan National Glass, Piramal, AGI Glaspac and Vitrium Glass to evaluate the environmental impact that glass has as a packaging source. The study collected data from 28 furnaces and covered 72 percent of the domestic glass production.

The overall assessment was carried out by PE International, an independent global expert. In the report, they stated that glass packaging has the highest green potential and the lowest global warming risk when compared with plastic, paper, and metal. This is especially true when it comes to process food and beverages.

“Glass is the most suitable packaging medium to retain product quality and is least damaging to the environment. Also, it is endlessly recyclable,’ said Mr Juergen Stichling, Global Director, PE International.

Stichling also mentioned that the increased use of recycled glass in India its present 35 percent to hopefully 75 percent in the future will reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by nearly 40 percent.

In an effort to improve the green profile of glass, the industry plans to make many different changes. Included in these plans are the adoption of new technology to reduce the glass weight from five percent to 20 percent, increase overall recycling habits from 35 percent to 50 percent, and to raise the amount of use of natural gas as a fuel instead of furnace oil.

India’s glass packaging industry ranks among the top 15 markets for glass packaging globally. But, in India, plastic is still the preferred packaging material, with processed food and beverages amounting to about 48 percent share, followed by paper, metal, and glass.