Simple Insulation Solutions Improve the Way You Live Every Day

Owens Corning / 3 min read

Pros and DIYers are looking for sustainable solutions to more positively impact the environment with the products they choose for their projects.

The team at Owens Corning has chosen to leave the world a better place for the future by changing the way products are made. Accompanying this decision is an ongoing commitment to expanding the use of recycled materials, which reduces waste and saves resources.

As one of the largest consumers of recycled glass in the world, the company uses nearly 1.3 billion pounds in our Owens Corning® fiberglass insulation annually. Additionally, their North American residential fiberglass insulation is third-party certified to contain at least 55 percent recycled content. Thermafiber® mineral wool insulation is manufactured to have a minimum of 70 percent recycled content while their XPS foam insulation in North America has 20 percent certified pre-consumer content.

Even as Owens Corning strives for higher recycled glass content in its fiberglass insulation products, the supply of recycled glass is at risk. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only 31.3 percent of all glass containers were recycled in 2018 (the last year for which data have been published). In addition, many U.S. municipalities have removed glass from curbside recycling programs. To help counteract these trends, Owens Corning works with other companies and organizations to support the glass recycling industry and the glass recycling supply chain.

Recycled glass also reduces demand for raw materials, which is why Owens Corning has focused research and development efforts on the recycling of glass fiber. Along with that, considering waste during the design phase and throughout a product’s life cycle means considering end-of-life issues from the beginning.

As they find solutions to recycle and reuse waste within their processes, Owens Corning hopes to uncover ways to support  customers by expanding take-back programs. Owens Corning supports glass recycling by collaborating with strategic partners to increase the recycling of glass containers and factory waste.

Fun fact: Did you know…one batt of Owens Corning insulation contains about the equivalent glass content of six beverage bottles?

Their efforts extend to other areas as well. Each year in the U.S., approximately 13 million U.S. tons of potentially recyclable shingles are removed from the roofs of homes and buildings. Through a national strategic alliance with Earth911, Owens Corning is connecting contractors with convenient recycling facilities. As part of the program, they ask contractors to help the environment and promote sustainable business practices by pledging to recycle their shingle tearoffs. As of 2020, 823 contractors in their network have pledged to recycle their shingle tear-offs, this includes 104 new contractors who made the pledge this year, compared with 64 who pledged in 2019.

Owens Corning also uses recyclable cardboard with some of its products – each carton used for insulation products contains up to 30% recycled content and is fully 100% recyclable after use.

Owens Corning is committed to making products in a way that has the least negative environmental impact.

Installing Owens Corning® roofing and insulation products are one simple way to join in the effort to make the world a better place for the future.