Is more always better?
We’re delighted when people want to recycle more glass – but putting all the glass types found around your home into your household recycling bin or local bottle and jar bank is actually counterproductive.
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And glass manufacturers really do want our glass back.
UK made bottles and jars contain on average as much as 68% recycled content (depending on their colour). Glass manufacturers would love to be able to use more recycled glass. Why? Because recycling old glass, rather than using new raw materials, reduces the energy use and CO2 emissions of glass manufacturing.
What goes around really does come around – and every bottle and jar you recycle makes a genuine difference too. Check out the Recycle Week animation to see how much energy you could be saving with just two jars.
The glass industry is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint and energy use. They want to increase the amount of recycled glass used in new glass bottles and jars. The industry needs your help with this. They need you to recycle your glass bottles and jars.
The other things glass makers are doing include:
Lighter bottles – glass designers, technologists and manufacturers have worked together to make containers that are just as strong, but use less glass. Glass bottles are now around 30% lighter than they were a few decades ago – which saves energy in manufacture and transport.
Recovering waste heat – glass factories and equipment makers are working, and beginning to install, systems that let them capture the heat that escapes from a glass furnace (without disrupting the delicate process of melting). That heat can be used, for example, to generate electricity or pre-heat raw materials, or even heat water for other local businesses – all options which reduce overall energy use.
Rail over road – glass plants are investing in reviving rail links so that materials can arrive by train rather than a lorry. This not only reduces CO2 emissions from transport – it takes hundreds of vehicles off the roads which improves air quality and reduces congestion.
We want everyone to be a friend of glass all year round by: