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A high-tech facility for glass packaging production


GSE Italia has realized a sustainable plant for the production of container glass for Vetropack, a Swiss company leader at European level in the production of glass packaging, recovering an industrial area spanning 347,000 sqm in Boffalora Sopra Ticino, in which 160,000 sqm are dedicated to buildings.


The new plant was built in brownfield in compliance with the highest sustainability standards, all while integrating with the surrounding environment. With the specific intention of minimising land use, therefore, GSE Italia supported Vetropack in reclaiming a de-industrialised site that spans 347,000 sqm by coordinating a complete remediation of land contaminated with mud, asbestos and cement materials, which involved the demolition of 20 pre-existing buildings, and reusing much of the material resulting from demolitions. Following the demolition campaign, the material was crushed and reused on site as both primary and secondary resources, totalling approximately 120,000 m3, with the contaminated material being subject to reclamation.


The project involved the construction of an operational “hot end” with two high efficient melting furnaces, a “cold end” focused on quality control and a two-level warehouse for the storage of finished products. Construction prioritised the well-being of workers – carefully designing the ergonomics of production spaces as well as dedicated colour studies for flooring, walls, roofing and external facades. This approach ensured that noise emissions remained below the legally-authorised limits through optimised internal acoustics. Moreover, specific ventilation and heat extraction systems were employed to maintain a suitable indoor microclimate for production workers, thereby minimising additional electrical consumption.


The new plant integrates seamlessly with the local environment thanks to a planovolumetric design that respects its morphology. Much of the study was focused upon selected technologies that could reduce energy and water consumption in order to best address the substantial energy and water demands of the production process. This involved solutions for highly-efficient resource utilisation, together with a significant reduction in the company’s environmental footprint. Here’s just one example: a heat recovery system from the furnaces and a closed-loop water circuit were used so as to minimise groundwater withdrawals while ensuring continuous filtration and purification.


Collaboration between the municipality, Vetropack, and the support of GSE Italia proved instrumental in the project’s community-oriented design – emphasising both environmental planning and sustainable development in the area. The project introduced a 35,000 sqm public park along the Naviglio Grande and a 2.5 km cycling path connecting the new facility and the public park to the existing cycling network. Not only. To mitigate the impact on local traffic, extensive on-site parking was provided for company vehicles and public use.


The project is of strategic importance within the realm of Italian excellence (Made in Italy) and, due to its implementation, authorization complexity and scale of investment, it is certainly one of Italy’s key industrial projects over 2023.

Project presentation:

Production plant

User’s business sector:

Production of glass packaging


160,000 sqm