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US firm sets up system to boost glass recycling

US-based specialty brewer, Boulevard Brewing has formed a glass recycling company, Ripple Glass to help close the loop in glass bottle consumption in Kansas City.

Ripple Glass has built a processing plant and developed a metro-wide collection network with the help of area businesses and large companies, including Boulevard Brewery’s bottle supplier Verallia, which use recycled glass.

Boulevard’s chief financial officer Jeff Krum said the strong local and regional demand for cullet has prompted the company to start Ripple Glass.

Once the recycled glass, cullet is processed at Ripple, Verallia purchases amber cullet to manufacture more amber ECO Series beer bottles to be sold back to Boulevard.

The ECO series bottle uses an average of 29% recycled glass to manufacture new glass containers for the beer, wine, food, beverage and spirits industries.

Verallia expects to purchase 2,000 tonnes of cullet from Ripple Glass in 2011 and more in future years as glass recycling rates continue to increase.

Verallia North America president and CEO Joseph Grewe said the company aims to produce new glass containers with 50% recycled content by 2013.