Circular solution for flat glass
Ragn-Sells is partnering with glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain to find circular solutions for flat glass. Also known as sheet or plate glass, it is the glass commonly used for windows and glass doors. Through various pilot projects, flat glass is being recaptured from demolition projects and made into new glass, saving it from the landfill.
As a glass manufacturer, French-based Saint-Gobain has faced a challenge when it comes to finding recycling solutions to make flat glass circular.
– By 2025, we want to use 20% of “end of life” flat glass from demolitions in our raw materials. Today, we use 1%. But at the same time, 35,000 tonnes of flat glass per year is put into landfills in Sweden, says Oskar Storm, Architectural Projects Specification Manager at Saint-Gobain.
While flat glass is sometimes recycled into other products, Storm and Saint-Gobain see greater potential for a circular transition.
– 98% of all glass bottles and jars are recycled today, often circularly. But old flat glass is used to make glass bottles or fibreglass insulation at best, if it’s not immediately deposited into a landfill. The only way to truly recycle flat glass is by using old flat glass, says Storm.
Saint-Gobain has thoroughly explored all the possible ways flat glass can become a circular product. It includes a collaboration with the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), which launched the ”Increased circular use of flat glass” project. It was through the search for partners and pilot projects that Saint-Gobain connected with Ragn-Sells.
– We sought out projects where we could apply our newfound knowledge, visiting glaziers and facade builders, says Storm. Wherever we went, everyone mentioned that they wanted to involve their recycling services provider, Ragn-Sells, so we contacted them.
One pilot project that Saint-Gobain and Ragn-Sells are currently collaborating on is the replacement of the glass facade at SAS's head office in Solna, Sweden. Ragn-Sells collects the old flat glass and, because there is no plant in Sweden, transports it to Saint-Gobain's float plant in Germany.