A Visit to Sibelco: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice in Glass Container Recycling

By Cetie
The 06/06/2024
On May 17th, a Cetie delegation led by Josquin Peycere, the association's General Secretary along with several members, visited the Sibelco plant near Reims, in St. Léonard, France. This site, is renowned for its expertise in glass recycling,  extracts, processes, and sells industrial minerals worldwide, focusing on silica, clays, feldspars, and olivine.
The visit was part of the activities of Cetie’s working group, as the "Design for Recycling - Glass Containers" group meeting was held in the morning. This joint initiative brought together stakeholders, including brand owners, glassmakers, glass recyclers, and label manufacturers. Chaired by Stefano Cassano, Chairman of the Circular Economy Group at FEVE (Federation of European Manufacturers of Glass Containers), the Cetie working group's mission is to define the characteristics necessary for glass containers to be efficiently recycled. The group particularly focuses on challenging areas, starting with defining opacity limits for recycled glass.  Its findings are crucial for informing the CEN working group in charge of the corresponding standards.
Accustomed to organising such visits, Sibelco provided an immersive experience for the 15 22 invited members of the working group. The goal was to understand the glass recycling process. This hands-on experience aligns with Cetie's long-standing objective since the 1960s: to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application in glass container technology.
This invitation from Sibelco was not merely a tour of an industrial facility; it was an immersive experience. Imagine standing before an imposing heap of rubble, a shapeless mass of 10,000 tonnes of broken glass, freshly removed from recycling bins. This raw material, a testament to the discarded remnants of everyday life, undergoes a transformation as it passes through 23 optical detection systems. The precision of these systems, with double checks and cullet flows sometimes divided into four outlets.
In this complex process between technology and material, the Sibelco plant brings glass fragments back to life, meticulously detecting and removing magnetic metals, plastic tips, ceramics, and crystals. By visiting Sibelco, stakeholders were able to realise the extent and complexity of glass recycling.
Understanding glass recycling requires seeing and feeling the glass treatment process firsthand. The visit to Sibelco was a powerful reminder of the complex nature and huge value of the industrial recycling process. It highlighted the importance of practical experiences in fully understanding the glass recycling process. This journey visit not only enriched the participants' knowledge but also reinforced their commitment to sustainable practices in the glass industry.

A special thanks to the Sibelco team for welcoming the Cetie delegation and ensuring the success of the meeting.
Their efforts made the visit highly appreciated by all participants:

Sylvain Hourquebie, Stéphane Schilliger, Arnaud Meyer and Régis Labetoulle.

Thank you for your hospitality and for making this visit an enriching experience!

  • Jacques Bordat, CSVMF (Chambre des Verreries Mécaniques)
  • Josquin Peyceré, Cetie (Secretary)
  • Laetitia Ufens, L'Oréal Aulnay sous Bois
  • Léo Leroy, LVMH Recherche Beauty Tech
  • Noel Mitchell, FINAT
  • Nicolas Creon, Institut du Verre
  • Olivier Deweert, FERVER (European Federation of Glass Recyclers)
  • Osvaldo Valentepires, Sleever
  • Pauline Dordain, Gerresheimer Momignies S.A.
  • Peter-Johannes Heederik, Avery Dennison Headquarters
  • Samuel Joachim, Verescence France
  • Solène Duran, Pernod Ricard France
  • Thomas Etien, Paprec
  • Yannick Riezman, Verescence France
Next Meeting for the "Design for Recycling - Glass Containers" group
Friday, June 28, 2024
Location: Cetie, Paris
For more information, visit: Sibelco
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