Sustainability in Action

O-I Brazil Glass Recycling Project Scores at São Paulo’s Morumbi Stadium

O-I Brazil has launched a new partnership to increase glass recycling around soccer games – called Recycle and Make a Goal – that will ultimately reduce waste and lower emissions in the glass manufacturing process. The program has already seen tremendous success. 

O-I Brazil teamed up with São Paulo’s Municipal Department of Urban Cleaning, the startup Grupo Seiva, and the “Queen of Recycling” Work Cooperative to collect more than 8,000 glass bottles for recycling. 

The Recycle and Make a Goal project kicked off in São Paulo around the Morumbi Stadium during the January game between São Paulo FC and Santo André, which marked the opening of the São Paulo Football Championship. O-I operates glass manufacturing plants in São Paulo (SP), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Recife (PE), and Vitória de Santo Antão (PE). 

“This is the second initiative of a project focused on cullet collection around the Morumbi Stadium,” said O-I Brazil’s Manager of Circular Economy, Alexandre Macário. “Despite the heavy rain during the event, we managed to gather more than a ton of glass packaging. We are working to make this project permanent in São Paulo’s stadiums.” 

Macário said future plans include implementing the project in cities where O-I has factories, which will help facilitate project logistics.  

Glass Recycling Promotes Community Wellbeing

The Seiva Group installed crushing machines at four different collection points near Morumbi Stadium to facilitate easy disposal of glass packaging. Fans were encouraged to deposit their glass at the available collection points, and the Queen of Recycling team helped gather materials. All of the recycled glass, called cullet, has been sent to O-I so it can be manufactured into new glass packaging. 

“During the opening game between São Paulo and Santo André, the number of glass bottles removed from the street was so high we scored another great goal around the Morumbi Stadium,” said Teresa Eloá de Souza Martins of​​ the São Paulo’s Recycling Cooperative. “We were also able to educate the public who, curiously enough, approached us to learn a little about our work.” 

Martins said the Municipal Cleaning Department’s support has been essential throughout the project in sending all collected waste to the correct destination and preventing it from reaching landfills. 

“The Butantã subprefecture supports this very significant project with its initiatives aimed at the community’s well-being and the preservation of the environment. By prioritizing sustainable practices, recycling, and safety, the subprefecture contributes to the local quality of life and sets a positive example for other sectors and communities,” said Sidinei Couto Jr., sub-mayor of Butantã. “We hope this operation will be permanent and bring tangible benefits, such as reducing environmental impact, promoting recycling, and improving local safety. The successful implementation of this operation will have immediate positive results and contribute to a more sustainable and secure future for the region.” 

Recycled Glass Creates New Glass Bottles

Using recycled glass to create new glass containers makes the manufacturing process more sustainable by requiring less energy and creating fewer emissions. For every one ton of recycled glass used in the manufacturing process, more than one ton of raw materials is saved, and for every 10% of recycled glass used in the manufacturing process, energy consumption is reduced by about 3% and carbon emissions by 5%.   

Among O-I’s corporate sustainability goals is incorporating an average of 50% cullet, or recycled glass, in our packages globally by 2030. Recycled glass isn’t always readily available, so O-I is getting creative to build glass recycling programs.  

In 2023, O-I’s team in Brazil launched two partnerships – with the Recicleiros Institute, a civil society organization, and Orizon, one of the country’s largest private landfill companies.  

O-I is committed to supporting sustainability. Read more about how we’re working across the value chain to improve recycling in our sustainability report. 

Allen Mireles
Allen Mireles
Allen Mireles is a wordsmith based in New England with an abiding passion for sustainability and helping build a safer and cleaner planet. An experienced writer, she has deep experience in both traditional and digital marketing and public relations and has written for a broad range of industries and media. As an avid gardener and camper, Allen loves nothing more than being outside appreciating our natural world.
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