Today most of the glass packaging is reusable. AGC Glass Europe achieves a very high level of packaging reuse: for example
in Belgium 98% of the packaging is reused.
AGC Glass Europe has developed various types of steel stillages. Typically, we promote the rotation of those stillages (return of the stillage from our customers sites), so it also allows their reuse. These stillages can be reused for years and result in a minimum of packaging waste.
D24: the stillage designed for inloaders trucks
For many years now (even before the waste and packaging waste directive of 1994 release), steel stillages were developed to store and transport the glass by road, instead of the traditional wooden crates. The current special inloaders have also been developed at that time, to transport this new glass packaging in a safe and easy way.
D26: the stillage designed for sea shipments
AGC Glass Europe has designed the D26 steel stillage, that allows to ship DLF glass in containers. These container shipments can replace break-bulk shipments, that use wood packaging. Thanks to these stillages the amount of glass that can be sent by container is up to 24 tonnes without packaging. Also we use that type of shipment when rotation of the stillages is possible (return of the stillage).
P08: the flexible stillage designed for large-dimension glass
Typically, the flat glass industry shipped the large-dimension glass (PLF glass) to customers on one-way metal stillages. These stillages ended up at the construction site; some of them may be returned to local glass makers but otherwise they were dumped. Even if they are re-used, some parts may break and the whole stillage then needs to be replaced after a few trips. This represented a huge environmental loss as the lifetime of the stillage is short.
In order to avoid ordering a new stillage for each large-dimension glass shipment (about 800 kg of metal each time!), AGC Glass Europe teamed up with a stillage supplier to design the P08 stillage. This can be dismantled, so that if a part breaks it goes back to our stillage supplier for replacement. These stillages are returned after each shipment to our customers. At the end of their lifetime, the stillages are recycled.
Sustainable use of wood in packaging for glass products
Glass shipped in break-bulk cargo may still be packed in wooden boxes. Today, all of the wood that is used by AGC Belgium, Netherlands, France and Czech Republic comes from PEFC certified wood sources (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes). This ecolabel means that the wood comes from sustainably managed forests.
AGC not only uses sustainable wood sources for packaging, it also strives to reduce the amount of wood used by optimising the packaging design. Our wooden flask packaging has been standardised to an optimum size in order to fit both the laminated and the float glass products in the BENEFRA region.
Additionally, the wood is treated thermally to avoid damage by pests during transport; no chemicals are used in order to lower our impact on the living environment.
In contract negotiations with our suppliers of raw materials and consumables, we also stress the importance of reducing the quantity of loose packaging that ultimately turns into waste in our facilities.