In a boost for the glass recycling sector, secretary of state for business Greg Clark, has opened manufacturer Encirc’s new £40m furnace at its bottle-making facility in Elton, Cheshire.
The facility is a major user of cullet collected from local authority contracts and from the hospitality sector taking in a range of colours for making new bottles.
During his visit to the glass container manufacturer last week, the business secretary toured Encirc’s factory. He officially opened what is now “the largest glass container furnace in the world,” according to Encirc. The 206 sq m industrial oven was built in record time, the company said.
Encirc, which is celebrating its 20th year of operation, was acquired by Spanish-based glass company, Vidrala, in 2015. Its new furnace is expected to boost Elton’s melting capacity by around 100 tonnes per day, the company said.
Based on of two state-of-the-art facilities in Elton, Cheshire and Derrylin, Northern Ireland, Encirc produces around a third of all glass containers in Britain. The company said it uses up to 90% recycled cullet in the manufacturing process. The business employs more than 1,200 people.
Mr Clark commenting: “Encirc is a brilliant example of the UK’s modern Industrial Strategy in action. Innovation and new sustainable techniques to boost business productivity are crucial for our future economic strength and today’s opening is another demonstration of the strength of the UK’s manufacturing sector.”
Adrian Curry, managing director, Encirc, said: “ At a time when some are uncertain about the outlook of UK manufacturing, the investment in our new furnace represents a very strong commitment to our future by our Spanish-based parent company.
“We pride ourselves on using the latest technology which not only minimises our impact on the environment, but also helps increase efficiency in our supply chain. This new furnace will significantly increase our capacity to manufacture sustainable packaging, while our new railhead is reducing our road transport needs by one million kilometres per year, helping us cut annual carbon emissions by 245,000 kg.”
Glass Futures, a non-for-profit organisation involved in innovation and training in the glass industry, facilitated the visit to Encirc’s plant.
Richard Katz, director of Glass Futures Ltd, commented: “We were really pleased by the Secretary of State’s visit and we’re sure he was impressed by Encirc’s investment which demonstrates the positive future for the glass industry in the UK. By bringing the best research and industry brains together, Glass Futures, with Government support, will substantially contribute to achieving the UK’s environmental targets.”
Much of the recycled cullet for use at the plant will come by rail (see letsrecycle.com story). URM – Berrymans – is a major supplier to the facility.
Industry sources have told letsrecycle.com that the plant is keen to receive regular supplies of material with brown glass recently in particular demand.