Ardagh Group to expand pellet recycling scheme after award recognition

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Pictured collecting the award on behalf of Ardagh: Sven-Roger Kahl, manager, Glass Technology, Glass Europe, Ardagh
Pictured collecting the award on behalf of Ardagh: Sven-Roger Kahl, manager, Glass Technology, Glass Europe, Ardagh

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Ardagh Group is looking to expand its programme for recycling softening pellets to its sister plants after winning a Resource Recovery Award by the International Water Association (IWA).

The pellets are a residual waste product from the water treatment industry, and are used to replace limestone at Ardagh’s Dongen plant in the Netherlands, as a raw material in the production of high quality clear container glass.

First time IWA has hosted the awards

Sharon Crayton, head of marketing, glass, Europe, Ardagh Group, told FoodProductionDaily, the company has received awards for other sustainability initiatives in the past but this is the first award of its type and the first time IWA has hosted these awards.

We are looking at opportunities for similar projects at other plants, subject to material availability and local geography​,” she said.

Ardagh Group is continuously monitoring other waste streams for potential raw materials for our process and has roadmaps which support this approach with some of the national associations​.

We are also focused on using more post-consumer cullet in our process and were recently recognised for this at the National Recycling Awards in the UK​.”

Positive environmental impact

Presented at the First International Resource Recovery Conference in Belgium by IWA, the award recognises world class achievements for innovative, best practice applications with the most positive environmental impact that benefits all stakeholders in the supply chain.

Key to Ardagh’s success (the company consumes 10% of the Dutch annual production of softening pellets) was in finding  an efficient, environmentally and cost effective method for drying the calcite pellets  before using them in the glass making furnace.

This was achieved by developing a purpose built truck, which dries the pellets in transit between the water treatment plant and Ardagh’s production site in a CO2​ neutral drying process, using heat from the engine.

Sven-Roger Kahl, manager, Glass Technology, Ardagh Glass, Europe, said this particular project replaced 7,000 tonnes of limestone with the calcite grains.

Our sister plants are now looking carefully at how they can adopt the technology. Our close cooperation with Restoffenunie, a collective shared service centre of the Dutch Water Supply Companies, who provided valuable assistance throughout the process, was beneficial​,” he added.

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