UniglassPlus/Ziebart is the first national network to recycle windshields
The initiative began with a two-month trial period. Despite there being limited resources in Canada to recycle windshields, the persistence of UniglassPlus/Ziebart paid off, and we finally managed to develop an effective system that continues to ensure sustainable recycling throughout Canada.
A few figures
Every year, more than 1.2 million windshields are replaced in Canada and sent to landfills.
It is estimated that nearly 17,418 tons of auto glass could be recycled and reintroduced into the consumption cycle and thus avoid going to landfills.
What does windshield recycling involve?
Glass is 70% silica sand and as such can be recycled over and over again. After the glass is recovered, it is crushed in grinders and then sifted to obtain glass cullet. Using this cullet reduces the energy needed to produce glass by about 25%.
Glass from recycled windshields at UniglassPlus/Ziebart is used to manufacture glass containers and fibreglass and thus reduces the amount of raw materials required. It is never used to make recycled windshields.
Why Is recycling windshields difficult?
Windshields are composed of two layers of glass separated by a plastic polyvinyl butyral (PVB) film. The film holds glass fragments together in the event of breakage to prevent injury. The plastic film must be removed from the glass to recycle the windshield. This is a costly process, and the resources available to date for recycling have been limited.