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Completed: Enabling business models innovation for sustainability in the UK glass sector

In collaboration with British Glass 

Keeping flat glass products (windows and glazing) within a circular economy model presents a great opportunity for decarbonisation, and is economically beneficial. However, public policy attention has focused on recycling and reusing container glass, while most end-of-life post-consumer windows and glazing is not recycled and reusing it is less appropriate. 

This project identified government policy and opportunities for collaborative industry action to help create a circular economy for the value chain. Working closely with British Glass, the team reviewed good practices in the European Union; interviewed industry stakeholders representing recycling, construction, and manufacturing, among others; and held a workshop where representatives from the construction, glazing, manufacturing, and recycling sectors discussed the future of flat glass recycling. 

Findings show that policy and industry initiatives should aim at creating a market for cullet supported by an integrated value chain, adequate recycling infrastructure (including collection, transport, and re-processing of cullet), appropriate economic incentives, and flat glass waste-specific regulations that would encourage recycling. As government action around flat-glass recycling in the UK is still in early stages, industry-driven initiatives should focus on collective action aimed at achieving greater coordination and awareness in the value chain, as well as promoting that cullet is treated as a resource instead of a waste material.  A key outcome of this research is a policy framework for flat glass circularity that consolidates our findings and includes two levels of intervention: government and industry. Several categories of policy tools are available and require different levels of collaborative action. We expect that this framework becomes a source for the sector’s policy-related.


Enabling business models innovation for sustainability in the UK glass sector,

Dr. Luis Torres

Nottingham University

Published: March 8th, 2023
Posted in projects

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