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Tue November 24 2020

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Recycling plant reduces Knauf's carbon footprint

13 Mar 18 A £10m facility has opened in St Helens to turn old jam jars and wine bottles into building insulation material.

Glass is turned into insulation wool
Glass is turned into insulation wool

The glass recycling facility, developed jointly by Knauf Insulation and Veolia, has capacity to process 60,000 tonnes of glass waste and convert it into high performance insulation. Crushed glass cullet is melted and spun into the glass mineral wool products used in the building trade.

Machinery includes vibrating screens for size sorting, magnets to extract ferrous materials and eddy current separators for non-ferrous materials.

John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “We have been using recycled glass in our manufacturing process for some time already. As well as securing our glass supply, the quality and consistency that we are getting now from the new facility will enable us to increase further the percentage of glass cullet we use in the manufacture of our glass mineral wool insulation solutions, taking us one step further in our sustainability journey.

“This is also a real boost for the circular economy and the fact we have delivered this in partnership with Veolia demonstrates what can be achieved when two leaders in their respective fields work together to achieve mutual goals.”

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Estelle Brachlianoff, senior vice-president at Veolia UK & Ireland, said: “This innovative new facility is a £10m investment in the UK green economy which is good for jobs, good for the community and good for the planet.

“To see our site officially open today is a vote of confidence in our technology and the quality of cullet we produce – and by using a significant amount of this glass in its manufacturing process, Knauf Insulation is setting the standard for other manufacturers to follow – making use of recycled material mainstream rather than niche.

“We want to see this first-of-its kind partnership pave the way for others; where waste is seen as an indispensable commodity and given a completely new lease of life. It would be fantastic to see more key industry players follow Knauf Insulation and incorporate circular economy thinking into production.”


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