January/February 1993

Volume 2, Number 1

Fiberglass Manufacturers Incorporate Recycled Glass

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Fiberglass Manufacturers Incorporate Recycled Glass


All three of the major fiberglass manufacturers are now using some amount of recycled glass in their insulation. Manville, which has been most active in promoting its use of recycled glass, claims a recycled content of approximately 30%, all of which is post-consumer recycled glass beverage containers. “By opting to use recycled glass in our insulation, we’re helping builders, contractors and architects address consumers’ environmental concerns,” said Reed Larson, Technical Services Manager at the Building Insulation Division of Schuller International, maker of Manville insulation. Every truckload of insulation leaving one of Manville’s four plants contains roughly 112 tons of recycled glass, and a typical house insulated with Manville fiberglass contains glass from about 600 recycled beverage containers, according to the company.

CertainTeed and Owens Corning, the other two large fiberglass producers, are also actively pursuing the use of recycled content in their products. CertainTeed has reached approximately 20% recycled content, according to Tom Newton, Manager of Marketing Communications. Owens Corning has a corporate goal of 15% recycled glass content, says Jim Schmiedeskamp of the company. Manufacturers are adding recycled glass in expectation of government requirements to do so, said Newton. California already requires 10% recycled content for fiberglass insulation plants in the state (all three of these manufacturers have plants there).

The standards for recycled glass used in fiberglass vary among the manufacturers. CertainTeed requires clear glass, while Manville's manufacturing process is more tolerant and successfully uses a three-color mix. Manville, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning currently account for roughly 90% of the fiberglass insulation market. Among those three, Owens Corning has about a 50% market share, with Manville and CertainTeed about 25% apiece.

Manville Building insulation, P.O. Box 5108, Denver, CO 80217; 303/978-2000.

CertainTeed Insulation Group, P.O. Box 860, Valley Forge, PA 19482; 215/341-7677.

Owens Corning, Fiberglas Tower, Toledo, OH 43659; 419/248-8000.

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January 1, 1993