Innovation Yields Cleaner Glass for Recycling

Julia Vitrum Plant Produces Improved Cullet for O-I Italy
Dec 15, 2021 12:15 PM ET

Glass is an ideal packaging material to support a low-waste circular economy. The Julia Vitrum Cullet Treatment plant in Italy is one of our creative, innovative and collaborative solutions to ensuring more glass stays in the manufacturing loop and out of landfills.

The project is a joint partnership between O-I and Italian glass manufacturer Zignago Vetro. The new plant is located in the Zona Industriale Ponte Rosso (ZIPR) in Italy’s Pordenone province. It is the only cullet treatment center in the region and is close to our Villotta and San Polo plants.

Recycled glass, called cullet, is a main ingredient in the glass manufacturing process. The more recycled glass that goes into a batch to create new glass packaging requires less energy use, uses fewer raw materials, and creates less emissions. That’s why recycled glass is so valuable to the industry.

Julia Vitrum is one of the first plants in Europe with innovative technology that produces improved cullet. Traditional glass cullet purification machines can effectively clean impurities above a certain size. The latest generation of purification machines at Julia Vitrum catch and clear even smaller impurities – up to half a particle smaller. This means the plant creates a higher volume of usable cullet than traditional machines to manufacture new glass containers.

Increasing recycled content by 50%, on average, by 2030 is among our 10 sustainability goals. O-I’s investment in the Julia Vitrum plant demonstrates our commitment to our sustainability journey and, at the same time, increases the availability of high-quality cullet for the plants in the ZIPR region.