Recycle Glass Month is right around the corner in September, but why have an entire month dedicated to recycling glass? What’s so great about glass recycling?
Lynn Bragg, President of the Glass Packaging Institute, has a few good reasons.
“Glass is 100 percent recyclable, and can be recycled endlessly with no loss in quality or purity. An estimated 80 percent of recovered glass containers are made into new glass bottles,” she says.
Still not convinced? Don’t worry, she has more reasons.
“Recycling glass containers provides for significant production efficiencies and environmental benefits,” she says. “For every six tons of recycled container glass used, a ton of carbon dioxide is reduced. Fewer raw materials are also consumed, and using recycled glass extends the life of plant equipment, such as furnaces.”
All right, we’ve established it’s important to recycle glass, and you may have a bunch of glass containers laying around that house that you don’t even think about. While wine bottles and peanut butter jars might quickly come to mind, all glass containers are recyclable.
Take for instance, glass containers for cosmetics and perfume; these are recyclable. “Even glass containers that hold candles are recyclable,” Bragg says. “And don’t forget to recycle glass bottles and jars that hold soups, sauces, condiments and picnic favorites like pickles and olives.”
Speaking of condiments, Heinz recently rereleased its ketchup in the iconic glass bottle, so now you can recycle that, too.
“Heinz ketchup was brought back in the 14-ounce glass bottle in response to consumer demand. We’re pleased to see major brands revisiting glass this summer as a way to appeal to their customers,” says Bragg. “Consumers obviously know the benefits of glass for maintaining the quality, purity and taste of products. We’re hopeful these companies will continue offering their products in glass for the foreseeable future.”
Bragg also offered some tips to make sure you’re recycling glass properly.
First of all, make sure you know your local recycling rules. If it’s required by your local recycling program, separate glass by color or from other recyclables.
Make sure you’re not contaminating the recycling stream. Keep out non-container glass, like light bulbs and mirrors, and other contaminants, like metal caps and neck rings, to ensure the glass you recycle can be used to make new glass bottles.
Remember that ceramics, porcelain, Pyrex and dishware are the most destructive contaminants for glass recycling and can damage recycling and manufacturing equipment. So, never place them in your recycling bins.
Now you’re set to recycle glass properly for Recycle Glass Month in September. Be on the look out for GPI member events and activities nationwide aimed at boosting the glass recycling rate. GPI will also be announcing their 2011 Clear Choice Awards winners to honor manufacturers that use glass packaging in innovative ways.
Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. The Glass Packaging Institute is one of these partners.