How to Recycle Glass Bottles & Jars

Glass bottles are frequently used to package liquids like soda, juice, beer, and wine, and are accepted in most curbside recycling programs. So why is the glass recycling rate (34 percent) half that of aluminum cans (67 percent)? We definitely have work to do.

Why Recycle Glass Bottles & Jars?

  • Glass bottles represent the quickest recycled-packaging process, as a bottle can be recycled and back on store shelves in 30 days.
  • Unlike most materials that lose their quality over time, glass can be recycled infinitely with no loss in purity.
  • Although glass bottles have dropped in weight by 40 percent over the past 30 years, they still represent the heaviest form of packaging if they end up in a landfill.

Glass Bottle & Jar Recycling Preparation

  1. Do your best to not break glass bottles, as there is no market for recycling broken glass.
  2. You can leave the label/foil on, but many recyclers will ask you to separate the metal caps. This is partly to ensure that all liquids are removed. Remove all wine corks.
  3. Don’t worry about non-liquids in the bottle, such as a lime wedge in a beer bottle or bits of cork in a wine bottle.
  4. Remove any non-containers from your glass recycling, such as Pyrex, glassware, windows, and mirrors. These glass products can’t be recycled with containers.

Find Recycling Guides for Other Materials

Frequent Glass Bottles & Jars Recycling Questions

Additional Reading