20 Fun facts about glass and recycling
As you probably know by now we are big fans of glass here at Sen5es. I think you could say it's integral to our business. But no matter what we think about glass and how wonderful it is, cold hard facts speak for themselves.
In this blog post we list our top 20 fun facts about glass and how it is recycled!
Facts about glass packaging
Glass containers such as bottles and jars can be easily recycled. They can be broken up and then melted with silica sand, limestone, and soda ash to make glass for new containers.
Glass is first recorded being produced around 3000 B.C. The Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria were hubs of glass making. But you can thank an ancient Roman for the fact for glass in your everyday life. Because of their empire-making ways, Romans spread a more modern glass manufacturing knowledge to its newly conquered lands.
Before man started producing glass, nature was already producing it. When lightning strikes sand, the heat can fuse the sand in to long and slender glass tuves called fulgurites. Also the intense heat of volcanic activity sometimes fuses rock and sand in to a black glass called obsidian. Which is often used in jewelry, money and weapons.
Every family in the UK uses around 500 glass bottles and jars a year on average.
The largest glass furnace produces over 1 million glass bottles and jars every day.
Brown glass is often used in beer bottles as the amber tint reflects ultravoilet light and therefore protects the beer from spoilage. No one wants spoiled beer!
Glass is pretty simple to make. It requires only 3 main ingredients. Sand, soda ash and limestone. There is a fourth ingredient but that's to give the glass it's colour.
Glass never decomposes! This means it's the worst thing to just throw away and put in landfill. Experts think it would take 1 million years for a glass bottle to completely break down in landfill.
Most jars and bottles you see on supermarket shelves these days could use recycled glass which is over 20 years old!
On the bottom of every jar and bottle there will be markings. These show who made each product and where. They can also show useful things such as capacity and fill height. @Friendsofglassuk on Instagram have a great post about this.
Facts about recycling glass
Glass can be recycled indefinitely and will not lose its quality.
Recycled glass is called cullet and it require a lower heating temperature than glass that is made from raw materials. This means it requires 40% less energy.
Before recycle all glass packaging should be rinsed out and any lids removed. Any metal caps that remain will be removed by magnets at the recycling plant. But if they get through the process they can damage equipment.
Glass is perfect for reusing around the house as it can be cleaned and reused for years. You can use it to store food or other more creative ways such as flower vases or coin banks.
On average glass that is put out to recycle is being used to manufacturer new glass in 30 days.
Glass is 100% recyclable and can be reused endlessly without losing quality. The UK currently recycles around 50% of its glass. However countries like Finland and Switzerland recycle more than 90% of theirs!
Each year Glass Recycling UK Ltd process over 250,000 tonnes of glass per year. Since 1977, they have processed over 4 million tonnes of glass!
For every tonne of glass that is reused in the manufacturing process it saves roughly 315kg of Carbon Dioxide.
Using recycled glass cullet saves raw materials. One tonne of cullet save 1300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash and 380 pounds of limestone.
Currently 1,500,000 tonnes of glass bottles are recycled from households every year, and recycled Glass can reproduce literally millions of new bottles and packaging items every year, which has many environmental effects.
Thank you for reading our latest blog post. Have you learnt something about glass and recycling? Do you understand now why we love it so much? Have you got any more interesting facts? Comment below.
All the best
The team at Sen5es