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ACI Glass Packaging - Cleaner Production
Demonstration Project

Table of Contents

Glass bottles

Executive Summary

1.0  Review of ACI Operations

2.0  Planning and Organisation of the ACI Cleaner Production Project

2.1 Cleaner Production Approach used at ACI
2.2 Cleaner Production Opportunities Identified

      2.2.1 Solid Waste Minimisation
      2.2.2 Water and Wastewater Minimisation
      2.2.3 Batch House Dust Collection and Re-use
      2.2.4 Prescribed Waste Minimisation
      2.2.5 Communications and Staff Training
      2.2.6 Development and Implementation of Standard Operating Procedures

3.0  Cleaner Production Initiatives

3.1 Solid Waste Minimisation and Management
      3.1.1 Detailed Evaluation of Opportunity
      3.1.2 Project Implementation
      3.1.3 Results
3.2 Cullet Water Quality
      3.2.1 Detailed Evaluation of Opportunity
      3.2.2 Project Implementation
      3.2.3 Results
3.3 Batch House Dust Collection and Re-use
      3.3.1 Detailed Evaluation
      3.3.2 Project Implementation
      3.3.3 Results
3.4 Standard Operation Procedures
      3.4.1 Detailed Evaluation of Opportunity
      3.4.2 Project Implementation
      3.4.3 Results
3.5 General Environmental Awareness Training
      3.5.1 Detailed Evaluation of Opportunity
      3.5.2 Project Implementation
      3.5.3 Results

4.0  Review of Project

5.0  Concluding Remarks

6.0  ACI's Perspective

List of Tables

Table 1  Types and Amounts of Solid Waste Generated at ACI

Table 2  Dust Collection Methods

Table 3  Costs and Benefits of Installing a Dust Collection System

Table 4  Summary of Results

List of Figures

Figure 1  Schematic of Cullet Water System

Figure 2  Diagram of Improved Oil Separation System

Figure 3  Volumes of Solid Waste Disposed to Landfill (Jan '95 to Feb '96)

List of Appendices

Appendix A  Sample Standard Operating Procedure

Executive Summary

The Cleaner Production Demonstration Project (the Project) was an initiative of Environment Australia - Environment Protection Group (EPG). The aim of the Project was to raise the awareness of Australian industry and actively promote cleaner production issues. This was to be achieved by conducting ten successful cleaner production demonstration projects in industry around Australia, documenting the benefits and experiences of the project, and publicising the results to wider industry. Dames & Moore, assisted by Energetics, were engaged as technical consultants on the project. The project commenced in June 1994, and ran for 27 months.

ACI Glass Packaging in Adelaide, SA, was selected as one of the ten companies to participate in the Project. This case study report presents a record of the progress of the ACI project, from initial meeting to project completion, and detail the results of the project and any problems which may have been encountered. This case study demonstrates the application of cleaner production to the glass manufacturing industry.

ACI manufactures glass jars and bottles at its plant in Adelaide predominantly for the wine and beverage industries. The plant has the capacity to produce 200,000 tonnes of glass annually.

The manufacturing process comprises seven main stages:

Completion of the ACI project comprised a number of stages, as follows:

There were many cleaner production opportunities at the site. Following a relatively long period of investigation and discussion, five projects were selected for implementation. The projects focused on solid waste minimisation and management, improving wastewater quality, operating procedures and training, and are summarised below.

  1. Solid Waste Minimisation - Cardboard and Plastic Recycling
    Prior to the commencement of the Demonstration Project, ACI were paying approximately $54,000/ year to contractors for collection and disposal of approximately 6,200 m 3 of solid waste to landfill. Following an audit of solid waste generated at the site, cardboard and plastic, used mainly in the palletising section of the facility, were identified as materials which could be recycled. Recycling contractors were identified. The recyclers hire appropriate recycling bins to ACI, collect the material, and pay a set rate / tonne to ACI. Site personnel were informed on the use of the bins, and recycling has been progressing well. It is estimated that ACI save approximately 2,208 m3 of landfill space and $25,800 annually by recycling cardboard and plastic.

  2. Improving Wastewater Quality
    The main source of industrial wastewater at the site is referred to as "cullet water", and is generated in activities associated with the forming machines. Prior to the commencement of the Demonstration Project, cullet water was passed through a basic oily water separator, and discharged to sewer. The oil and grease concentrations in the discharged wastewater were higher than the limits set by the regulatory authority. A wastewater monitoring program was implemented and two projects were conducted to reduce the oil and grease concentrations:

    1. Improved oil separation, involving installation of a new hydrocyclone-style separator. The system has been operating effectively, except for a short breakdown period due to pump failure. The wastewater is noticeably less oily, and monitoring results confirm the observations. This has resulted in a decrease in oil discharged to the sewer by approximately 7.7 tonnes / year. This oil is now collected and recycled by a contractor.

    2. Collecting and recycling biosol. Biosol is sprayed on a section of the forming machines as lubrication. Prior to this Project, the biosol has been allowed to drain from the machines to the cullet water system, adding to the oil and grease load in the cullet water. ACI installed a biosol collection and recycling system, comprising collection trays, a tank, a plate filter, pump and associated piping. The system was to prevent biosol form entering the cullet water, and reduce consumption of biosol. Commissioning problems have been experienced, and are being further investigated by ACI technical personnel.

    A regular maintenance program is yet to be developed, thus no sustainable improvement in wastewater quality has been achieved. ACI intend to pursue further methods of reducing oil and grease concentrations.

  3. Batch House Dust Collection System
    Prior to this project, raw materials, in the form of fugitive dust, accumulated in the batch house and conveyor area. Dust generation represented a waste of raw materials, contractor collection and disposal costs, and a potential health and safety problem. A system has been installed to collect the dust from key areas and return it to the conveyor, to be re-used in the batch. The system comprised enclosing the dusty areas, installing an extraction fan, filter and hopper. The system cost $43,000 to install, has an estimated payback period of 1.8 years, and has been operating effectively since installation.

  4. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
    SOPs were developed by ACI and Dames & Moore personnel to cover the following activities:
    • solid waste management;
    • waste oil collection, storage and disposal;
    • collection and management of stannic chloride residue;
    • management of trichloroethylene (TCE) waste;
    • handling batch waste and spilt cullet;
    • spill (oil and TCE) cleanup;
    • management of cullet water oil separator;
    • wastewater monitoring;
    • waste tracking; and
    • management of spills of minor raw materials.

    The procedures are in the process of being implemented. It is anticipated that successful implementation of the SOPs will result in:

    • improved environmental awareness;
    • improved environmental performance;
    • minimisation of wastes;
    • improved occupational health and safety practices; and
    • accountability for wastes.

  5. Environmental Awareness Training

    A two hour training session covering both general and site-specific environmental issues was conducted for ACI supervisors and managers. The training package, incorporating overheads, trainers notes, and handouts, was provided to ACI to enable subsequent training of operational staff.

    ACI allocated the responsibility for implementing the projects to the Environmental Co-ordinator. There was limited involvement of site management. While the projects were successful, progress was slower than anticipated. The benefits of the project could have been more widespread had management been more involved in the process, and more personnel made available to work on the project. There appears to be some commitment to continue investigating and implementing other opportunities for cleaner production which were identified.

    The projects indicate that significant economic and environmental benefits can be realised by relatively simple initiatives, such as waste segregation. To get the most from cleaner production opportunities, there needs to be corporate, on-site management, and onsite personnel commitment to cleaner production initiatives.

1.0 Review of ACI Operations


ACI has continued to benefit from these initiatives. As a Demonstration Project this case study has been maintained in its original form.


John Morris
ACI Glass Packaging.
36-38 Burwood Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Ph: 61 3 9271 2823 or 9236 2311
Fax: 61 3 9544 2613
Date of implementation: 1994-1996
Date of further initiatives: Ongoing.
Case study prepared: 1997 by Dames & Moore (now URS) and Energetics. 
Date last reviewed: May 2001.