We have told you about the sustainability of recycled glass in our previous journal post, Recycled Glass: Practical, Sustainable, Beautiful. But how do we get the glass in order to recycle and re-use it?
We get our glass from so many different places you wouldn’t even think of!
Our recycled glass mainly comes from wine bottles, perfume bottles, window panes, car windows, beer bottles, etc. but we usually obtain it from restaurants, hotels, and factories
We buy glass by the ton. We then wash it, break it by hand, and melt it in the oven.
Some of our colored glass is made by using natural oxide powders that are added to the glass while it is still molten in the oven. The green or olive color comes from wine bottles for example. When we use old perfume bottles, it adds a slightly yellowish tint to give it that antique look. Since smoking is out of style now, we have even reused the once-popular blue ashtrays from the ’50s & ’60s to give our glass a blue color you all appreciate.
But you know what? These items are harder and harder to find and one day we might not even be able to find them at all! It used to be that almost everything was sold in glass. I may be aging myself when I say this, but when I was growing up in Paris, my mom would bring home Perrier and Badoit sparkling water in glass bottles! I even had my favorite lemon-flavored yogurt in a glass jar bought at the supermarket. Coke was in glass bottles too. When I would visit my cousins in the UK, we would pour our milk out of glass bottles delivered right to your door! At school, our paint was stored in little glass jars. And when we were kids we were served water in glasses at the restaurants – not plastic. Heck, our baby bottles were made out of glass!
Now, all of these glass bottles and jars have been replaced by plastic or aluminum that are only recycled a maximum of 5 times before they are definitely thrown away and never to be used again. This is a huge burden on our environment. Glass, however, can be recycled infinitely! So, why don’t we use more of it? Little by little, we are seeing some small mom & pop companies using glass for their packaging. There is also a trend to use glass storage containers for your leftovers instead of plastic containers. Hopefully, this shift will continue for the benefit of our planet. Use, recycle, and reuse more glass in a never-ending circle that helps the world go ’round!