WRAP Defends Use of Recycled Glass in Water Filtration

The debate over the environmental credentials of recycling glass into sand or aggregate products continued today with the publication of a new report.

The report is published by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to defend the practice of using recycled glass to make water filtration products.

The report, entitled "Environmental Impact Assessment of the Use of Recycled Glass as a Tertiary Filter Medium", maintains that using recycled glass actually saves money and carbon emissions.

The findings challenge claims made a month ago by financial advisors Grant Thornton that grinding glass "generates more CO2 than if the glass was sent to landfill".

Grant Thornton described the government's policy towards recycling as "carbon blind", and that energy-intensive processes such as glass grinding produced more emissions than if the glass was just disposed of.

The new study, however, has looked at recycled glass through its whole life cycle in one particular market.

Research carried out by Aqua Enviro at Yorkshire water's Malton sewage plant in 2004 found that recycled glass was found to be up to 10% more effective than traditional sand in the final stage of cleaning commercial and industrial waste water.

The improved efficiency led to a saving on how much power was needed to flush the water through the filter, thereby saving the equivalent of 1,261 kg of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

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