Glass cullet: the heart of Zignago Vetro’s project for sustainability


We have the good fortune of working with glass, a material that, every day, teaches us to be sustainable. It is in fact a perfect example of a circular economy: it can be recycled 100% and an infinite number of times, without the result losing any quality. The new container is always identical to the preceding one, provided the process of waste sorting and recycling is of high quality. 

In view of the above, glass cullet is a perfect starting point in the quest that leads towards sustainability; that is why Zignago Vetro has decided to make it the principal raw material in its operations. Thanks to its reuse, we obtain a reduction in the energy consumption needed for melting, less CO2 emissions, lower consumption of virgin raw materials and a smaller quantity of waste to be dumped. 

To make this into a real asset, we had to reorganize our processing. Our Group has therefore decided to collaborate with three companies working in the collection and treatment of glass (Vetreco, Vetro Revet and Julia Vitrum), which are able to deal with about 800 thousand metric tons of unrefined glass a year, approximately a third of the raw glass collected in Italy in 2021. These are significant numbers – but by no means definitive ones – that bear witness to our company’s culture of sustainability and make Zignago Vetro the leading Italian company in glass recycling.

 Unity makes for sustainability

 But we believe that there is still plenty to be done, and that there is strength in unity; rather than operating as individual players, it is better to involve the whole of the supply chain. For this reason, we have created a project – unique in Italy – that also encompasses clients and stakeholders, with the aim of increasing and improving our glass recycling chain.

 To help foster this circular model, our Group has forged relationships with a network of distributors to source glass cullet (empty, broken or deteriorated containers that would otherwise be thrown away) directly from Zignago Vetro’s clients. To reduce transport costs and CO2 emissions to a minimum, these partners are also responsible for delivery of the materials to our nearest cullet treatment center. 

We are delighted that this initiative has enjoyed remarkable success, especially with the medium-to-large wineries in Italy. We hope to continue in this vein and that the network of stakeholders will also spread to smaller wineries, to the restaurant sector, and to that of HORECA in general. It is a project in which we believe very strongly, because it is effective and really environment-friendly.

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