Garden Trade Specialist editor Victoria Galligan spoke to Jim McNulty, Development Director at Restructa Ltd, whose brands include GlasGlo – a recycling firm whose aggregates are made from glass TV screens…
Where did the idea come from to use TV screens as aggregate?
Since the company was formed back in 2006 we’ve always strived to have solutions and recycling applications for our Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass.
We have always manually stripped down our CRT televisions into different component parts and back around 2008 we invested heavily in processing equipment to clean our glass to a specific grade which then allowed us to export to Samsung in Malaysia – during that period there was still a market for CRT TVs, Samsung would melt the glass for reuse, however over the years that market has disappeared completely. We always thought the glass had an attractive look when we exported.
We decided to look and modifying our existing equipment to run trials to see if we could produce a clean, user friendly CRT aggregate product that was attractive in garden surroundings – hence Glasglo was born.
CRT glass is a huge problem not only in the UK but globally, we’ve had enquiries from the USA and Australia for recycling CRT glass because the majority of recyclers don’t have the technology or knowledge to find solutions. There are companies in the USA in particular who are setting up recycling facilities removing the valuable materials (plastics, metals etc.) and leaving mountains of CRT glass behind causing a huge environmental problem – there are a number of lawsuits ongoing at the moment in the USA.
Do you use other types of glass to make your products?
No the product is 100% recycled glass from Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Televisions.
What benefits does recycled glass have over brand new glass?
I think what’s definitely key is the environmental story behind the product which otherwise would probably have to be landfilled and the total recycling aspect of Glasglo.
Also don’t forget the final aggregate looks fantastic with a duel look – frosty when dry and shiny look when wet, very appealing.
Another benefit is we can really bring the glass to life using LED lighting resulting in a stunning effect.
What range of products are made by Glasglo?
We produce 3 grade sizes of Glasglo:
- Small (10-20mm)
- Medium (20-50mm)
- Large (>50mm)
These come in bulk bags, medium size bags (around 25kgs) and pot topper tubs (small only) around 700g.
What kind of companies/outlets do you supply to, and what are your most popular products?
- Small Independent Garden Centres.
- Regional Garden Centre Chains.
- National Garden Centres.
- Architects/ Developers.
- Local Councils.
- Builder Merchant Yards.
Our most popular products tends to be the medium-size bags.
What does Glasglo have in store for the future?
Waitrose are committed to stocking Glasglo in Pot Toppers for spring 2019 – that's 50 stores initially to potentially 250 nationwide. Squires Garden Centres in the London area are committed to stocking Glasglo in 16 garden centres for spring 2019. At the moment we have around 120 stockists in England/Wales hoping to at least double that by 2019.