what’s the current situation and future development trend of China’s glass packaging industry?


           With the continuous improvement of people’s living standards, people not only pay more and more attention to the safety of food (including beverages), but also pay more attention to the appearance of packaged products. Glass packaging products are harmless, odorless, transparent and beautiful, good barrier properties, heat resistance and pressure resistance, etc., and are deeply loved by consumers. Compared with packaging materials such as plastic, paper, and metal, glass packaging has relatively stable chemical properties and almost no pollution to the contents. It is currently a safer packaging material. At the same time, with its transparent appearance, smooth surface touch, and the surface with exquisite patterns, glass is easier to attract the public’s attention. Therefore, vigorously developing glass packaging meets market demand. However, the very big drawback of glass products is that the production process is accompanied by high resource and energy consumption, which causes serious environmental pollution. With China’s increasing emphasis on energy conservation, emission reduction and environmental protection, the continuous increase in raw material production costs, and the continuous development of new packaging materials such as plastics and metals, the glass packaging industry is facing unprecedented challenges.

     This paper sorts out the main problems existing in the glass packaging industry, and analyzes and discusses the energy-saving technology, lightweight bottle design, high production efficiency, and recycling, etc., to provide for the development of the glass packaging industry. Valuable suggestions to analyze some existing problems and future development trends of the glass packaging industry.

   Existing problems in the glass packaging industry

   High consumption of resources and energy The glass packaging industry consumes a lot of resources and energy, and has serious environmental pollution, which has always been the main reason for the development and growth of the industry.

   For glass packaging products, the main raw materials consumed are quartz, feldspar, etc., and the main fuel consumed is coal and oil. In my country’s siliceous raw material mining, 10% to 15% of usable ores are discarded. The average production rate of hard sandstone does not exceed 60%, and the output rate of quartz sand after beneficiation does not exceed 70%. The comprehensive utilization rate of minerals is very low. Comparing and analyzing the energy consumption levels at home and abroad, the standard coal consumption per ton of daily glass is 160kg-200kg, and that in my country is 380kg-400kg. In terms of power consumption, the power consumption per weight box is less than 8.5KWh, and that in my country is 8.5KWh-11.5KWh. Due to the large population of our country and the high demand for glass packaging products, the consumption of resources and energy is very alarming. It can be said that domestic glass packaging products have almost no advantages in terms of energy and resource consumption. In addition, the excessive energy consumption and resource consumption are accompanied by serious pollution to the environment. For example, harmful dust in the processing of raw materials, harmful gases, smoke, and waste slag discharged from the melting process of glass, waste water and waste oil discharged from the processing process, all have serious damage to the natural environment.

  Competition between different packaging material

   Among various packaging materials, glass packaging containers are very brittle and are prone to breakage during transportation, so transportation costs are generally high. In recent years, with the rapid development of metal, plastic and paper products, the application fields of glass containers have been sharply compressed except for some products that require high corrosion resistance. For example, most of the traditional infusion bottles have been changed from glass bottles to plastic bags, and many beverage bottles have been replaced by metal and plastic. At present, among the glass packaging products as containers, only some high-end wines, such as red wine, white wine and some high-end cosmetics, still use glass packaging, while other low-end products are gradually being lightened by plastics due to their low added value. Replaced by quality materials. Therefore, glass packaging materials urgently need to make breakthrough progress in order to cope with the threat of other packaging materials.

  Product production efficiency

  Low Domestic glass packaging is mostly low-end products, which are mainly manifested in backward technology, low added value of products, and lack of creativity in product design. Compared with foreign glass packaging products, the market competitiveness is obviously insufficient. It can be said that there are many reasons for this result, which are affected by the combined effect of multiple factors such as equipment capacity, raw material quality and technological level. “Workers must first sharpen their tools if they want to do well.” At present, domestic scientific research institutes have made considerable progress in the research of glass melting technology, glass forming technology, and quality control of raw materials. However, the domestic production equipment is very backward, which has become a prominent factor hindering the development of the industry. At present, there are very few domestic companies with advanced manufacturing equipment, most of which are imported. The overall level of independently developed equipment is still far behind that of developed countries. The production efficiency is low and the product quality is unstable, which greatly restricts the progress of the domestic glass packaging industry. . Therefore, the current product production efficiency is far from meeting the strong demand of the domestic market.

   Poor recycling effect 

   The recycling and reuse of glass packaging products is an effective means of energy saving and emission reduction, which is in line with the requirements of the national sustainable development strategy. At present, the amount of glass packaging waste in my country is increasing year by year, and developed countries started early in the recycling of glass, and have formed a complete recycling chain, and have achieved significant results, such as the glass recycling rate in Japan. About 50%, Germany is close to 80%, while our country is only 20%, the gap is still very large.

  The future development direction of glass packaging

  Develop energy-saving technology

  Traditional kilns have high energy consumption, low production efficiency, and high exhaust gas emissions and environmental pollution. Therefore, improving the melting quality of glass products and the service life of smelting kilns is the main way to save energy. At present, we can learn from foreign mature technologies, such as the use of oxygen combustion technology, and then optimize the structure of the furnace to increase the melting rate of glass products and reduce the energy consumption of the product. In addition, it is also possible to further improve the efficiency of the furnace by rationally arranging the layout of the production line, adopting an intelligent control system, and using high-performance refractory materials and insulation materials. It can be said that the development and promotion of energy-saving technology is still the main measure to achieve energy saving and consumption reduction for glass packaging products in the future.

   The glass packaging industry is showing a new development trend: the use of advanced energy-saving technologies for production, increased labor productivity and increased production concentration, and lightweight bottles and cans.

  The foreign glass packaging industry is vigorously promoting the oxy-fuel technology. This is the second revolution after the regenerative glass furnace. It can obtain significant effects of low investment, low energy consumption, and low dust emission. Another way to save energy is to increase the amount of cullet, and the amount of cullet in foreign countries can reach 60%-70%. Lightweight bottles are the main products of glass bottles and cans. Accurate control of raw material composition, accurate control of the entire melting process, small-mouth pressure blow technology (NNPB) bottle and hot end spraying, online inspection and other advanced technologies are the fundamental guarantee for the realization of lightweight bottles and cans. Some countries are developing new surface enhancement technologies for bottles and cans in an attempt to further reduce the weight of bottles and cans. The current popular plastic film sleeve label is also conducive to the lightweight of glass bottles. Developed countries generally use multi-group and multi-drop molding machines to increase the molding speed of glass bottles. The machine speed of 12 sets of double drop line-type bottle making machines produced abroad can exceed 240 minutes, which is more than 4 times higher than the current 6 sets of single drop forming machines commonly used in China. At the same time, a large number of glass packaging manufacturers have begun to merge and reorganize to increase the concentration of the glass container industry in order to optimize the allocation of resources and increase economies of scale.

   Glass packaging industry In order to compete with packaging materials and containers such as paper containers and plastic bottles, glass bottle manufacturers in developed countries have been committed to making the product quality more reliable, more beautiful, lower cost, and cheaper. In order to achieve these goals, the development trend of foreign glass packaging industry is mainly manifested in the following aspects:

   At the forefront, adopting advanced energy-saving technology 

   One way to save energy, improve the melting quality, and extend the furnace to save energy is to increase the amount of cullet, and the amount of cullet in foreign countries can reach 60%-70%. It is more ideal to use high-standard broken glass to achieve the goal of “natural” glass production.

  Secondly, the bottles and cans are lightweight. 

  In developed countries such as Europe, America and Japan, lightweight bottles are already the main products of glass bottle manufacturers. 80% of the glass bottles produced by Obedand in Germany are lightweight disposable bottles. Accurate control of raw material composition, accurate control of the entire melting process, small mouth pressure blowing technology, spraying of hot and cold ends of bottles and cans, on-line inspection and other advanced technologies are the fundamental guarantee for achieving lightweight bottles and cans. Jiangsu glass bottle manufacturers are developing bottle and can surface enhancement technology, trying to further reduce the weight of bottles and cans, and connect the world at a faster speed!

   Third, increase labor productivity.

  The key to improving the labor productivity of glass bottle manufacturing is how to increase the molding speed of glass bottles. At present, the method generally adopted by developed countries is to choose a molding machine with multiple groups and multiple drops. The large furnace matched with the high-speed molding machine must have the ability to supply a large amount of excellent glass liquid stably, and the temperature and viscosity of the gob must meet the requirements of better molding conditions. For this reason, the composition of raw materials must be very stable. Most of the refined standardized raw materials used by glass bottle manufacturers in developed countries are provided by specialized raw material manufacturers. The thermal parameters of the kiln to ensure the quality of the melting should adopt a digital control system to achieve better control of the whole process.

   Fourth, increase production concentration.

         In order for the glass packaging industry to face the severe competition caused by the challenges of other packaging products, a large number of glass packaging manufacturers have begun to merge and reorganize to increase the concentration of the glass container industry in order to optimize the allocation of resources, increase economies of scale, reduce disorderly competition, and enhance development Ability, this has become the current trend of the world’s glass bottle packaging industry. Through the development of energy-saving technology, lightweight design, high-efficiency production equipment, and improvement of the existing glass recycling system, the goals of energy saving, emission reduction, environmental pollution and production cost reduction can be achieved, and the market competitiveness of domestic glass packaging products can be greatly improved. . Based on this, corresponding laws and regulations should be formulated at the national level to strictly control environmental pollution and energy consumption standards in the glass manufacturing process, accelerate mergers and reorganizations within the industry, and promptly eliminate enterprises with high energy consumption and low product added value, and ensure The glass manufacturing industry is developing healthily and steadily.