What happens to my glass after it’s recycled?
What goes around, comes around.
Recycle Week 25 Sep - 1 Oct 2017
It’s Recycle Week and this year’s theme - What goes around comes around - inspires us to enjoy the benefits of creating a circular economy - where we make, use and recycle. This is in contrast to the unsustainable make, use, discard linear economy. Recycle Week is great opportunity to learn more, find ways to recycle more, and get more people involved.
When it comes to creating a circular economy and recycling – glass is a fantastic material. All of your glass bottles and jars can be used to make new glass bottles or jars. Recycling glass packaging reduces CO2 emissions as well as the amount of energy and raw materials used to make new containers. And it’s really easy to do: in just about every part of the UK there are kerbside collections or glass banks for household glass waste. It can take just a few weeks for your waste glass to reappear on shop shelves as shiny, new bottles and jars.
Although glass recycling is nothing new, sadly around half of the glass packaging that goes into UK households doesn’t currently get remelted into new glass products. That’s why this Recycle Week we want your help to get everyone to recycle more of their glass bottles and jars.
What glass items can I recycle?
Local authorities use slightly different systems for collecting and sorting the materials for recycling – and these will affect what you can recycle and how. So look on your council website or at Recycle Now’s recycling locator to check for your area.
All glass bottles and jars can be remelted to make new containers. Don’t forget…
Perfume/aftershave bottles and cosmetic jars?
These are often made from clear glass, which is particularly useful to glass manufacturers. So recycle them with your other glass bottles and jars and feel good that your action is saving resources and energy.
Yes, they can be recycled too. Cough syrup, pills, kids medicines, indigestion relief – if it comes in glass you can recycle the container. Just rinse and recycle with your other glass. Don’t waste this great resource by throwing it away in general waste.
What can’t I recycle?
Household glass recycling can’t accept:
– light bulbs and glass cookware eg PYREX – these are chemically different and can’t be used to make new bottles and jars.
– crockery and ceramics – this won’t melt in a glass furnace so keep it out of your glass recycling.
– window panes or broken glass – this is usually to do with the way that the glass is collected and sorted.
Some recycling centres have different facilities, so it is always worth checking whether there are options to recycle these locally. Again – the Recycle Now locator can help you.
Three steps to be a Friend of Glass this Recycle Week:
1. recycle all your glass bottles and jars – don’t forget perfume, aftershave, cosmetics and medicine containers
2. keep on learning and keep in touch
– like Friends of Glass Facebook page and follow Friends of Glass UK on twitter
– like the Recycle Now Facebook page and follow Recycle Now on twitter
3. encourage your friends and family
– post, tweet and share on social media using #RecycleWeek