The glass industry is taking a step towards sustainability. Encirc – a leading glass manufacturer and co-packer, announced on December 13th that it is partnering with Diageo – a global leader in premium alcoholic drinks, to create the world’s first net zero glass bottles at scale by 2030.
Encirc plans to use hydrogen to achieve decarbonization of its glass production process. It will build a new furnace at its Elton plant, Cheshire that will use an energy mix of green electricity and low-carbon hydrogen which will reduce carbon emissions by 90%. It is also expected that carbon capture technology will be applied to eliminate the remaining carbon emissions by 2030.
The newly built furnace will be powered by zero-carbon electricity and hydrogen from the Vertex (HyNet) plant in Cheshire. It is expected to be fully operational by 2027 and produce up to 200 million Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Gordon’s, and Tanqueray bottles annually by 2030.
“This will be a major step in our goal of producing net zero glass by 2030. With support from the Government and key partners, Encirc and Diageo we believe it will be possible to have this first-of-its-kind furnace up and running…,” said Adrian Curry, Managing Director of Encirc.
Back in 2021, Encirc, in collaboration with Glass Futures, trialed one of its furnaces in its Northern Ireland plant to run on sustainable biofuels. It also used 100% recycled glass on many brands like Diageo’s Black & White bottles. The bottles achieved a carbon footprint of up to 90% lower than a standard glass bottle.
Now hydrogen holds great potential for the company and for other firms looking for low-carbon alternatives to common energy sources. Decarbonization is becoming a key part of day-to-day decision-making processes for businesses and industries across the UK as well as global economies.