This page last reviewed January 11, 2016

California Glass Manufacturing Background

The glass manufacturing companies in California vary in size and range from small privately held companies to large multinational corporations.  There are four major segments in the glass manufacturing industry which are separated by the type of end products generated.  These segments include container glass, fiberglass, flat or float glass, and pressed or blown glass (also known as specialty glass).  Production and consumption for all four segments of the glass manufacturing industry are often concentrated near U.S. population centers due to very high shipping costs of both raw materials and products, and the heavy concentration of end‑use customers.

The container glass segment produces bottles, jars, and other containers that compete with alternative materials such as plastic, aluminum, steel, and paper.  Most of the market for the flat glass segment is comprised from residential and construction, and automotive industry products.  Other products from this segment include mirrors, instrumentation gauges, and architectural items such as table tops and cabinet doors.  The fiberglass segment is composed of two distinct sub-industries: insulation, which is often referred to as glass wool, and textile/reinforcement fibers, which are continuous fiber strands used to reinforce plastics and other materials important to the transportation, marine, and construction industries.  The specialty glass segment is very diverse and consists of traditional products, such as lighting, cookware, and television glass components along with newer products such as fiber optics, photonics, flat screen displays, and liquid crystal display panels.

There are federal regulations on the glass manufacturing industry that regulate the emission of toxic air contaminants (TACs) and/or criteria pollutants.  Local California air districts have either incorporated these regulations or have been granted equivalency and given authority to implement district rules to reduce emissions of criteria pollutants and TACs from fiberglass manufacturing plants and criteria pollutants from all other glass manufacturing plants.  In addition, California Beverage Container Recycling Program (CA Beverage Container Recycling & Litter Reduction Act) and Fiberglass Recycled Content Act of 1991 require glass container manufacturers in California to use at least 35 percent cullet (recycled glass) in their products and fiberglass manufacturers that manufacturer or sell in California to use at least 30 percent cullet in their products.  CalRecycle, officially known as the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, is the agency that implements the California Beverage Container Recycling Program and the Fiberglass Recycling Content Act of 1991.