NERC proposes model glass recycling legislation

Regional recycling association asks for stakeholders to formulate a glass recycling legislative strategy.

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The Brattleboro, Vermont-based Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) is convening what it calls a workgroup “to develop model legislation for minimum post-consumer recycled content requirements for glass beverage and food containers, and fiberglass insulation.”

The organization, which has a presence in 11 states in the northeastern United States, says the goals for the model legislation are to develop markets for postconsumer glass containers and to increase the use of postconsumer glass containers in the making of new beverage and food containers and fiberglass insulation.

“Glass is a highly recyclable material, and states consistently hear from stakeholders that markets for post-consumer glass must be strengthened to help develop more demand for this feedstock,” says Chris Nelson, supervising environmental analyst of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Postconsumer recycled content standards for new glass products will help to create more robust markets for glass recovered through recycling programs.”

NERC says its intent for the workgroup is to use virtual meeting technology to bring together “a broad group of impacted stakeholders from industry and public sectors to achieve a positive outcome.” The work group’s co-chairs are Nelson and Stephen Burm, director of industry and government affairs with global brewery firm Anheuser-Busch. They will receive technical assistance from Ed Ferguson, director of sustainability at Anheuser-Busch, says NERC.

“At Anheuser-Busch, we have a longstanding history of environmental stewardship and have committed to 100 percent of our packaging being made from majority recycled content or be returnable by 2025,” says Ferguson.

Potential stakeholders identified by NERC include brand owners, glass container manufacturers, fiberglass insulation makers, glass recycling facility operators, industry associations, retailers and beverage distributors, waste haulers, material recovery facility (MRF) operators, state environmental agencies, state recycling organizations and environmental advocacy groups.

The first NERC glass workgroup meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, April 8, with more information available on this web page.