Glass manufacturers seek increased glass use in packaging

Kolkata, Jan 24 (IANS) Glass manufacturers sought regulatory framework to increase use of glass in packaging and an incentive model to streamline recycling of glass containers, an official from manufacturers’ federation said on Monday.

“Glass is 100 per cent recyclable without any loss in quantity and quality. It is an eco-friendly material while packaging is concerned. We seek regulatory framework to increase glass in packaging,” said All India Glass Manufacturers’ Federation’s Secretary Vinit Kapur.

In the European countries, the recycle rate of glass bottles is 80 per cent while in India, it is hardly 40 per cent, he said at the sidelines of International Conference on Advances in Glass Science and Technology (ICAGST-2017) in association with The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute.

“In the few European countries, there is bottle bank concept. In this model, government or agencies take some deposits and refund the deposits to consumers on returning the bottles. This kind of incentive model must be in place in India so that people do not litter anywhere and the same time, it will help streamline the process of recycling the bottles,” Kapur said.

According the Federation, Indian glass container market is estimated to be around $1.1 billion and by 2020, it is poised to grow to $2.2 billion. “Glass container industry is growing at about 18 per cent,” he added.

According to the federation, flat glass manufacturing capacity in India is at 5,000-6,000 tonnes per day while container glass capacity stands at 13,000 tonnes per day.

Manufacturers also sought in subsidy in inputs, particularly in natural gas, which comprises 30 per cent of the cost, so that prices of glass products could be brought down, Kapur said.

In terms of using architectural use of glass, Glazing Society of India’s Director G.N. Gohul Deepak said Energy Conservation Building Code 2007 has been revised with better standard and almost 80 per cent states have notified it for implementing in their bylaws. New codes from Bureau of Indian Standard in terms of using glass in building have also been launched.

“National Building Code is getting revised and the revised version will be come up soon. This will include a complete code required for glass selectivity, design, fabrication, testing and maintenance,” Deepak said.

In the conference, representatives from International Commission on Glass mentioned that world is entering into a glass era with use of glass in optical fibre and solar sector. They also recognised CSIR – Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute as one of the top research outfit in the world.