Glass Packaging Project/Collaboration

Glass Packaging

All 16 oz. jars of nut butter are packaged in glass. We utilize recycled glass to maintain a small environmental footprint. Glass is the only packaging material that the US Food and Drug Administration deems, “Generally Recognized as Safe.” Glass is largely inert, and therefore, neither gives off chemicals to the packages’ contents, nor absorbs chemicals from those contents glass packaging’s excellent barrier properties not only keep external contaminants, including odors, away from the product, but also prevent oxygen from entering and causing spoilage. So, our nut butters have a longer shelf life and require no preservatives, which is a good thing.

Our glass jars may be recycled. When recycled, a glass jar may be melted down and reformed into another glass container, over and over again, through recycling. Recycled glass is not limited in the number of its useful life cycles; nor does it have to be “down-cycled”—that is, recycled only into lower-value products as some other packaging materials must, such as paper or plastics. Glass, which uses much less energy than other packaging materials, retains a significant portion of the energy used to make it the first time and is easier and less energy-intensive to re-melt and reform: when you recycle one glass bottle you save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for well over six hours (or, if you are truly active in conserving energy, a 6-watt light emitting diode [LED] bulb for nearly three days).

Why Glass?

A better package, made better for the environment, can only be the right way.

Each container we use is from partially recycled glass. Our containers meet the highest standards in the US for post-consumer recycled content as set by California, Florida and Oregon.

The materials in our glass jars are made of primarily sand, limestone and soda ash are themselves earth-friendly and slag and other significant solid waste by-products are not produced when the jars were made.

Our glass supplier does not use brick containing chrome or heavy metals in the construction of the furnace block that holds the glass while it is being melted

(2800 degrees Fahrenheit). Even though those furnaces would last longer, chrome-bearing brick, when thrown away must be sent to and handled in special hazardous disposal facilities, and so, our supplier has chosen to be environmentally friendly.

Their furnaces do not use air, as most glass furnaces around the world do. Air is almost 80% nitrogen. Using air to burn fuels at the high temperatures in which glass furnaces operate, converts some of that nitrogen to nitrogen oxide, or NOx, which, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is “one of the main ingredients involved in the formation of ground-level ozone.” It can trigger serious respiratory problems, contributes to the formation of acid rain and nutrient overload, deteriorating water quality. This contributes to atmospheric particles that cause visibility impairment, most noticeably in national parks. There, it reacts to form toxic chemicals and contributes to global warming. So, our supplier uses a mixture that is over 90% oxygen, injects it with natural gas—which is much cleaner than oil—into the glass furnace and thus produces far less NOx, than if air is used. Is this a more expensive way to produce our glass jars? Yes. Could we get glass somewhere else where there are lower or no political or monetary consequences of pollution? Yes. We could have, but have decided to take the higher road. A better package, made better for the environment, can only be the right way.

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