Fit for tomorrow

O-I's award for Sustainable Process Development

Sustainability was a recurring theme at Glass Focus 2016 – and likewise competition was fierce for the sustainable process award, sponsored by VitriTech Ltd. But O-I's work at their Harlow plant impressed the judges.

In this category the judges were looking for practical, applied examples of inventive approaches to manage materials, energy, emissions or waste that had also contributed to efficiency or competitiveness. And the winner – from a host of very strong entries – was OI for process development at its Harlow plant.

In line with ambitious sustainability goals, O-I built sustainable process development into the comprehensive reconfiguration of its Harlow glass plant. This includes cullet pre-heating and the first use of gas-oxy furnace technology in UK container glassmaking. As a result, O-I has increased the plant’s capacity to meet rising demand from the UK beer market while dramatically reducing energy consumption and emissions.

Judge Brian McMillan commended O-I for taking this big step, saying:

“By moving away from UK convention and investing in the whole infrastructure of oxy-fuel furnaces O-I are not only meeting today's environmental demands - but being fit for tomorrow's as well.”

Left to Right: Paul McLavin of O-I and Chris Sorsby of VitriTech LtdPaul McLavin, Marketing and New Business Development Leader for O-I UK said:

“We are delighted that British Glass has recognised that our new Harlow facility marks a step change in sustainable glass production in the UK. This investment is another step in pursuit of the sustainability goals which are so important both to us and to our customers.”

Paul was at the awards ceremony in Edinburgh to receive the award, which presented by Chris Sorsby, General Manager of VitriTech. Chris explained why VitriTech was eager to support this award:

“Glass has a role in solving many problems we face globally – from applications in medicine and power generation to emerging green and mobile technologies. VitriTech specialises in creating novel glasses with specific properties for innovative products. Events like the Glass Focus Awards are a great opportunity to be inspired by what’s happening across the industry, and be spurred on to do more – that’s why we sponsored this award. If, as an industry, we’re to develop truly sustainable products we need to be willing to examine and evolve our own processes as well.”

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