Gerresheimer goes to the next level with PCR recycled glass
In 2021, Gerresheimer, a pioneer in the use of PCR glass in production, will be presenting new bottles containing 40% recycled PCR glass: a percentage never before achieved with recycled cullet from local collections.
Last January, the Gerresheimer group unveiled its new visual identity: a new logo and a signature, ‘Innovating for a better life’, which reflect the transformation of this industrial group. As a long-standing manufacturer of components for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics (a third of vaccine vials worldwide, in particular those of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19), Gerresheimer focuses its business on the customer’s needs to position itself as a creator of packaging solutions and novelties.
Gerresheimer was ahead of the times eleven years ago when it started to use 25% PCR glass in its production, serving customers, such as the Body Shop and L’Oréal. As its process improved, the proportion of recycled cullet increased to 40% today.
For Nicola Balena, Managing Director of Gerresheimer’s Cosmetics business unit, it is essential to distinguish between PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) glass, which is glass thrown away and collected after use, and PIR (Post-Industrial Recycled) glass, which comes from industrial production waste: ‘Some glassmakers claim that they use recycled glass, but it actually comes from their own waste: it’s not totally virtuous, it’s greenwashing! Using glass from collection channels is the only way to make a recycled material that truly promotes the circular economy’.
On its Momignies (Belgium) manufacturing site specialising in glass for the cosmetics sector, Gerresheimer only manufactures glass containing 40% PCR (percentage and origin certified every six months by an external auditor). Major cosmetics brands, such as Clarins, Biotherm, and L’Occitane, have already opted for these bottles for some of their products. Gerresheimer will be presenting a few examples at the show in June along with an ultra-light 50 ml jar which weighs less than 60 g, compared to 100-150 g for a standard glass jar.
‘We have measured that using 40% of PCR cullet in glass reduces the overall energy consumption of our production by 14%’, added Nicola Balena, ‘this is equivalent to the annual impact of the lifestyle of 760 average Europeans’. 760 is also the number of employees working on the Momignies site: a figure that makes sense!