Global material flow analysis of glass: From raw materials to end of life
Global glass production grew to 150 million tonnes (Mt) in 2014, equating to approximately 21 kg per person. Producing this glass is energy intensive and contributes annual CO2 emissions of some 86Mt. An accurate map of the global glass supply chain is needed to help identify emissions mitigation options from across the supply chain, including process energy efficiency and material efficiency options.
This map does not yet exist, so we address this knowledge gap by tracing the production chain from raw materials to end of life and producing a global Sankey diagram of container and flat glass making for 2014. To understand future demand for flat glass we also model the stocks of glass in vehicles and buildings.
The analysis shows the relative scale of glass flows and stocks worldwide and provides a baseline for future study of the emission mitigation potential of energy and material efficiency of manufacturing with glass.