What are the benefits of recycling glass?
In the UK, around 67% of glass is recycled. This may sound like a decent amount. After all, it’s over 2 thirds. But compared to some other European countries (where this figure is over 90%!), we’re really lagging behind. Check out more recycling facts here, or read on to take a closer look at the benefits and incentives of recycling glass.
It’s good for the environment…
Reason number 1 to recycle any material is to do your bit for the environment.
Plastic is often seen as the mother of all evils. Single-use plastic grocery bags in particular have been getting a bad rap recently.
This is because it can take hundreds of years for plastic bags to break down into organic matter.
But, believe it or not, glass deposited in a landfill will not decompose. No matter how long it lies there.
Which certainly puts things in perspective.
It helps us to save raw materials…
Recycling glass can help to conserve our natural resources.
Glass is made from sand mixed with soda ash and limestone. Did you know that sand is the most-consumed natural resource in the world, after water?
And whilst it may seem that we have an abundance of sand here on Earth, we are actually using more than is being created.
We go through a whopping 50 billion tonnes of the stuff each year.
That’s more than our annual oil consumption!
It’s infinitely recyclable…
Glass is magic stuff.
Unlike many other materials, it can be recycled over and over again until the end of time. Plastic, for example, can only really be recycled once or twice.
And no matter how many times it’s reprocessed, glass won’t lose its purity or high quality.
This makes it the material of choice for food and drinks packaging.
And all the more reason to reuse and recycle it!
It saves energy…
Creating new glass from scratch requires heaps of energy.
This is because the raw materials need to be sourced, transported and processed.
To be precise, manufacturing glass requires an incredible 40% more energy than the glass recycling process.
Can you believe that recycling just one glass bottle will save enough energy to power a television for an hour and a half?
Plus: not only does recycling glass save energy, it reduces carbon emissions too!
Recycling can be a chore, but glass is one of the easier materials to recycle:
- It’s usually not necessary to dismantle glass packaging and separate it based on its recyclability.
- It often takes a simple rinse to prepare glass containers for recycling.
Once you’ve done that, there are more than 50,000 bottle banks across the UK waiting to swallow your used glass bottles.
And as if that wasn’t simple enough, kerbside collection of bottles and jars is available in most areas.
Find out if this is offered in your area here.
It can be …fun?
‘Fun’ isn’t a word usually associated with recycling. But let’s face it:
There aren’t many things more satisfying than the clink of empty glass bottles going into the bottle bank, are there?
Ok, ‘fun’ might be taking it a step too far.
However, reusing your used glass containers at home can definitely be considered fun.
Repurposing your glass bottles and jars is the perfect way to keep the kids entertained during an arts and crafts session on a rainy afternoon.
So get creative!