MONTRÉAL, Aug. 12, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - According to an agreement in principle between manufacturer Owens-Illinois of Montréal and conditioner Groupe Bellemare of Trois-Rivières, it will soon be possible to produce bottles from glass collected through curbside recycling. This new outlet for glass recycling in Québec is the result of efforts initiated by Éco Entreprises Québec under its Innovative Glass Works plan. Beyond guarantees of feedstock, it will foremost require a change in Quebec regulation to ban any usage of glass in landfill sites.
"We are extremely pleased with the agreement, which constitutes an important milestone in the development of our respective organizations and a major glass recycling breakthrough in Québec," jointly affirmed Jim Nordmeyer, Vice-President sustainability of Owens-Illinois and Serge Bellemare, Co-president of Groupe Bellemare.
Technical discussions on the quality of the glass required for remelting, optimal conditioning and colour-sorting equipment to install and supply conditions were led by the working group assembled by Éco Entreprises Québec to the satisfaction of all parties. Groupe Bellemare now has a comprehensive business plan in hand and will be ready to make the investments required to purchase new equipment as soon as the supply guarantees are confirmed. However, one final condition must be met. Indeed, the government of Québec must now put an end to the temporary solution that, for the past several years, has sent glass to landfills to be used as cover material.
"Should the Ministre de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques announce that it is choosing to end this practice and fully support the glass recycling, we will work to secure our feedstock needed for the immediate investment, and our plant will be operational within a year, as per our discussions with Owens-Illinois," said Mr. Bellemare.
It is important to note that this temporary measure was implemented in 2013 following the shutdown of conditioner Klareco and aimed to develop an additional market for sorting centres, which wound up with considerable glass surpluses.
"We are looking forward to including Groupe Bellemare among our current suppliers of glass collected through the deposit system. This new supply of glass from curbside recycling will enable us to significantly increase the share of glass from Québec and meet the new needs of our clients, which are seeking a higher ratio of recycled glass in their bottles and containers. And that's above and beyond the positive impact on employment at our Montréal plant," added Jim Nordmeyer of Owens-Illinois.
"We are proud to have supported the approach leading to the agreement and back the request to the government to gradually ban the landfilling of glass and its use as a cover material, as outlined in our Innovative Glass Works plan. We believe that this call to action by a number of socioeconomic and environmental stakeholders is critical as we work to develop a genuine circular economy in Québec, regardless of the glass collection method" concluded Maryse Vermette, president and chief executive officer of Éco Entreprises Québec.
About Owens Illinois
At Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI), we love glass and we're proud to make more of it than any other glass bottle or jar producer in the world. We love that it's beautiful, pure and completely recyclable. With global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, we are the preferred partner for many of the world's leading food and beverage brands. Working hand and hand with our customers, we give our passion and expertise to make their bottles iconic and help build their brands around the world. With more than 26,500 people at 77 plants in 23 countries, O-I has a global impact, achieving revenues of $6.9 billion in 2018
About Groupe Bellemare
Groupe Bellemare is a 3rd generation family business that has been serving clients since 1959. Today, the company has more than 500 employees and provides them with an innovative work environment facilitating work-family balance and a healthy and safe quality of life. With over a half century of experience and its sustained R&D efforts, the Company offers high-quality products and services in areas as diverse as concrete, abrasives and minerals, dimensional load transportation, and recycling. Groupe Bellemare is also very involved in its industry and attaches great importance to its social and environmental role as a member of the business community. Groupe Bellemare makes a positive contribution to the quality of life of citizens in the communities it serves by supporting numerous social causes and promoting local purchasing through its responsible procurement practices.
About Éco Entreprises Québec
Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is a private non-profit organization that represents the companies that place containers, packaging and printed matter on the market in Québec in their responsibility to finance the costs of effective and efficient municipal curbside recycling services. As an expert, ÉEQ optimizes the curbside recycling value chain and implements innovative approaches with a view to sustainable development and circular economy.
SOURCE Éco Entreprises Québec
For further information: Owens-Illinois: Sarah Gill, Manager of global communications, 567 336-1893, [email protected]; Groupe Bellemare: Serge Bellemare, Co-president, 819 379-2535, [email protected]; Éco Entreprises Québec: André Fortin, Senior Advisor, External Relations, 514 928-3828, [email protected]