30 October 2017 by Elizabeth Slow

Zero Waste Scotland invites proposals for flat glass

Zero Waste Scotland is inviting grant applications for sums ranging from £50,000 to £1,000,000, to contribute to its overall vision of developing a flat glass recovery network for Scotland.

Flat glass from buildings is being targeted for recycling by Zero Waste Scotland.

This will include both the collection and closed loop recycling of flat glass, predominantly from the construction and demolition sectors as part of the wider £18million Circular Economy Investment Fund, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

According to Zero Waste Scotland, flat glass is seldom recycled into an equivalent value product, despite being a highly valuable material in construction and demolition waste streams.

The Scottish glass industry manufactures 400,000 tonnes of glass each year, the majority using virgin materials.

Zero Waste Scotland said a flat glass recovery network for Scotland would be a ‘cost-effective solution’ for industry, allowing high quality recycled flat glass (cullet) to be used as part of the glass manufacturing process, instead of being crushed up as aggregate with other materials.


And, harnessing the value of recycled flat glass would improve the industry’s bottom line, as it is a less energy intensive process using less virgin materials and less waste going to landfill, the organisation explained. It said a Dutch recovery network is already demonstrating the benefits, in that 90% of this flat glass could be recovered.

“Closing the loop on flat glass recycling would be a major milestone for Scotland’s sustainable ambitions”

Iain Gulland
Zero Waste Scotland

Types of project eligible for funding:

  • The setting up of a Scotland wide flat glass recovery network (or networks) that collects waste flat glass from construction processes and from demolition.
  • Flat glass collection and recycling trials in individual cities or companies.
  • Demonstration of innovative technologies or practices that can significantly improve the business case for collecting and recycling flat glass e.g. by making it easier, quicker or more economically viable.

Commenting on the funding offer, Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Scotland has a leading reputation for circular economy innovation in Europe and the world. Closing the loop on flat glass recycling would be a major milestone for Scotland’s sustainable ambitions – and a real platform for businesses with innovative ideas on how to do so.

“This opportunity is a chance to gain financial support for new ideas that open up sustainable business opportunities and generate growth – with benefits for both individual businesses and Scotland as a whole.”

Zero Waste Scotland has welcomed applications from small and medium sized businesses or third sector organisations across all sectors in Scotland. Applications from a consortium of organisations are also welcomed.

Proposals should show how the organisation proposes to set up the infrastructure required to operate the scheme, and how this will be managed.


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