Every year, tons of glass end in our landfills, where it will take 4,000 years or more to decompose. Though glass is endlessly recyclable.
Glass recycling saves resources and energy, reduces air pollution and water use.
How is Glass recycled?
Collected glass is broken up, washed to remove any further impurities, sorted and crushed into small pieces called cullet. It is then mixed with other raw materials (like soda ash, limestone and sand) to color and/or enhance properties as necessary, and melted down in a furnace to be molded or blown into new bottles or jars. This cycle can be repeated endlessly to make new glass products with no loss in quality.
Sometimes glass is crushed and turned into aggregate used in construction (most often for road paving).
Recycled glass is also used to make wall insulation, tiles and countertops.
Minerals are added to create different glass colors like iron, chromium, or copper. Colored glass needs to be recycled with similar colors only.
Glass you can recycle
Beverage, beer, wine glass bottles & glass jars are recyclable.
Don’t forget to
- remove caps and lids,
- empty the bottles and containers,
- rinse them,
- and place in the recycling bin gently!
Glass that can’t be recycled
Light bulbs, windows, mirrors, plate glass, eyeglasses, glass art, Pyrex baking dishes, fluorescent lighting tubes, broken glass, drinking glasses, crystal glass.
Glass recycling saves energy
Recycling glass not only saves on the raw materials needed to make virgin glass (1kg of recycled glass saves 1.2kg of virgin raw materials), but it also reduces energy usage. Each time one tonne of glass is recycled, about 246kg CO2 is saved, air pollution is reduced by 20% and water pollution cut by 50%*!
Glass takes a very, very long time to break down, if thrown away in landfills. Glass is at the same time infinitely recyclable.
Reduce your impact! Take all your glass bottles and glass jars to the recycling bin!