The delivery marks the opening of the terminal, which is expected to reduce Encirc’s operational carbon emissions by more than 2,400 tonnes every year.
The railhead will also allow the manufacturer to receive 78% of the sand it requires by rail. By connecting to the rail network, Encirc expects to be considerably reducing its reliance on roads by around 6,600 HGV journeys each year.
Encirc’s Elton site was once home to a power station which operated its own railhead. Since opening the Cheshire plant in 2005, Encirc has invested in redeveloping the trainline.
Commenting on the delivery, Andrew Morris, head of logistics, at Encirc, said: “The reopening of the railhead has been a ground-breaking development for us. We know that our customers – much like ourselves – place sustainability high on their list of priorities. By investing in our new terminal, we can continue to make their supply chains more environmentally responsible, and considerably reduce the carbon footprint of our containers we produce.
“Our railhead is an excellent example of how a business can also embrace past technologies to offer sustainable solutions for the future.”
The November shipment consisted of 1,600 tonnes of recycled cullet from UK glass recycler, United Resource Management (URM). Mark Wilson, chief executive of URM said: “URM has invested £20m in the latest recycling technology in a new facility based at Tilbury Dock, London.”
“The site was chosen due to its proximity to the London market and connectivity by both rail and ship that will divert significant movements of product away from road. We are delighted to be supplying Encirc with product by rail under a long term partnering arrangement that has sustainability at its very heart.” (see letsrecycle.com story)
The deal is expected to eventually bring about 80,000 tonnes per annum of recycled glass cullet to Elton by rail from Tilbury.
Part of the Vidrala Group and based in Elton, Cheshire and Derrylin, Northern Ireland, Encirc claims to have one of the most sustainable beverage supply chains in the world.
The company reports to have over a 33% market share in manufacturing container glass for the food and beverage industry. It operates a “state-of-the-art” contract bottling facility, and a 52,000 sq m automated bonded warehouse.
According to the company, it uses up to 90% recycled material in the glass manufacturing process, depending on its quality and the colour of the containers being made.
Encirc said it uses “cutting-edge technology to offer customers a 360-degree service”. This involves making the glass containers, filling them with beverages and distributing the finished products to the market.
Commenting more generally on the glass market, Adrian Curry, managing director of Encirc and president of British Glass – which represents the interests of primary glass manufacturers and the glass supply chain – said: “Glass has the most powerful sustainability message. It is a permanent material, able to be recycled an infinite number of times without losing any quality – something no other packaging product can offer.
“The current glass recycling rate across Europe is at 74% – a record high. However, this still leaves more than a quarter of all glass needlessly leaving the supply chain and heading into landfill. A key focus of my team as president of British Glass will be to help manufacturers and consumers develop more circular ways of working and increase their levels of sustainability.”