Recycling Glass | Facts & Tips

Glass. It’s something we really couldn’t live without, from the bottles & jars in a grocery store, to the windshield in your car or even the back painted glass in your home. We’ve all been taught to recycle it but you probably don’t know much about it or some of the benefits from it.

Glass Cullet

Let’s start off with a Useful Glass Recycling Term:
Cullet – Glass that’s been crushed & is ready to be remelted & recycled.

Using cullet is extremely environmentally friendly in creating new glass. It requires less energy, is less damaging to blasting furnaces, creates no by-products & saves raw materials. In fact the Glass Packaging Institute estimates that for every ton of cullet used to create new glass, “ 1,300 pounds of sand, 410lbs of soda ash, 380lbs of limestone, and 160lbs of feldspar” are saved.  Since glass products can be made of up to 70% cullet it can have quite the positive impact on a manufacturing plant.

Here’s a round up of some interesting & useful facts about that you might not have known about glass recycling .

  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled indefinitely without sacrificing any quality.
  • 90% of recycled glass is used to create new bottles & jars. Which can then find themselves back on store shelves within a month.
  • The remaining 10% of glass recycled finds itself in a host of consumer materials including housing materials, furniture, & consumer electronics.
  • California has the highest % of recycled bottles in the US at 80%

How the glass is collected plays a large role in the quality & type of recycling the glass must go through. To find some of the best practices for glass collection head on over to the Glass Packaging Institute which has thoroughly explains how to help ensure glass recycling efficiency.

Sources: Glass Packaging Institute, US EPA

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