Recently my colleague Belinda sent me a link to an interesting article about recycling the other day. Have a look-see here.

While perusing the how-to’s, I saw a bit about glass. Faster than Spidey’s sticky web, my attention was caught fast.

One of my many, many fascinations has to do with glass. I always thought that in another reality, I would have been a champion glass blower. I really love most things glass. Venetian glass; smoky glass; swirly patterned glass; glass bowls; glass vases; coloured drinking glasses …

Something that I wasn’t aware of though is how incredibly important it is to recycle glass. I think perhaps because I know that glass is made out of sand (how amazing is that!?) I imagined that it would somehow decompose. This is not the case. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. If one doesn’t recycle glass, it can take thousands of years to decompose and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So, how exactly is glass recycled? From the average Joe(ess) perspective, it’s really pretty simple:

  1. Your part is to collect your glass and throw it into a marked recycle bin. The glass recycling image will generally look similar to the image above.
  2. Glass is taken from the bin and taken to a glass treatment plant.
  3. The glass is sorted by colour and washed to remove any impurities.
  4. The glass is then crushed and melted, then moulded into new products such as bottles and jars. Or it may be used for alternative purposes such as brick manufacture or decorative uses.
  5. The glass is then sent back to the shops ready to be used again.
  6. Glass does not degrade through the recycling process, so it can be recycled repeatedly.

Debate rages about whether one uses more water rinsing out glass at home – an idea is to use your dirty dishwater to do this.

A recent campaign has indicated that the recycling of one 750ml wine bottle can power a single globe for ½ an hour.  The more bottles are recycled, the energy that it provides increases exponentially.

So, whereas we may think of recycling only in terms of watching our water usage or cutting down on something like tossing away plastic bags willy nilly; the fact is that being kind to ourselves, future generations and most importantly, to Mama Earth, is about far more than this.  I for one, will most certainly be taking all my glass to recycling points in future. Shall you?