New State of the Art Glass Recycling Plant Unveiled in Scotland

It is hard not to think about Scotland without thinking about whiskey.  It is something that is arguably in the blood of the Scots.  Something they are passionate about, and who could blame them given the worldwide success of their whiskey brands.

To produce whiskey to be exported all over the world, it is important that the industry has a good supply of glass.  Without glass there is no whiskey industry.  So it is refreshing to see a government plan to address the issue of glass for the industry.

In North Lanarkshire Scottish Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead opened a new £25m facility purpose built to supply high quality recycled glass to the beverage industry.  The facility has been developed by Viridor, a significant player in providing waste and recycling services.  The facility boasts 15 optical sorters and X-ray sorters.   According to Viridor the facility will provide one of the best material recovery rates in the world.

Mr Lochhead said: "I welcome this significant investment in modern recycling infrastructure.

"Glass packaging is important to a number of Scottish food and drinks manufacturers and glass recycling makes sense for our economy and the environment. In a world of finite resources, where global populations and consumption growth are driving increased volatility and vulnerability in the supply of raw materials, the circular economy offers a new and exciting perspective."

The facility should be able to recover up to 97% of glass, and deliver product purity of 99%.  If this is true, it is a very impressive statistic.

In addition, the site will create 30 full time jobs.

Although the facility and what it can do are impressive, the fact that it has a practical application, and it is government driven should also be equally commended.  It could be argued that too many governments see the environment as driven by targets, rather than investing in solutions to problems.

The idea here is that Scotland will be able to recycle glass, and no longer be forced to import it.

Ian McAuley, chief executive of Viridor, said: "Building on our existing network and over £357m of investment in Scotland's green economy over the last 24 months, Newhouse brings the UK's most advanced glass recycling centre home to the central belt and places Scotland at the leading edge of global glass recycling.

"A vital key in unlocking Scottish Government circular economy policy, this latest investment will not only help drive glass recycling and the sustainability of Scotch whisky, but will be a real boost for a Lanarkshire economy fast becoming an important base for Scotland's green sectors."

As well as providing the world's whiskey drinkers with a means of consuming their favourite alcoholic beverage, the facility will also be used to supply insulation following the facility's partnership with Superglass.  Again this is driven by the Scottish government.    

Should other governments follow Scotland's unified holistic approach; are the needs of other countries too different? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Business Green