Beverage Industry

The Glass Packaging Institute reminds consumers about the importance of recycling

September 18, 2012

The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), Alexandria, Va., is celebrating Recycle Glass Week from Sept. 17 to 21 and is reminding consumers about the importance of recycling glass containers, not just for a day or a week, but as a way of life.

“All recycling is important, but glass recycling is unique in terms of the impact it can make on the environment,” said Lynn Bragg, president of the GPI, in a statement. “Using 50 percent recycled glass to make new glass containers, for example, would save enough energy to power 21,978 homes for one year and remove 181,550 tons of waste from landfills every month. To get to this threshold, we need the help and support of individuals, small businesses, restaurants, large institutions, and state and local governments.” 

The goal to increase recycling isn’t just a number, the organization said. In addition to recycled glass containers being made into new bottles and jars, the energy used to make the new containers is less than if only raw materials are used, it adds. Therefore, when glass is recycled, it not only closes the loop to come back as a glass container, but it uses less energy and natural resources when doing so, the GPI stated. 

The following are some aspects the GPI associated with the recycling of glass:

· Glass bottles and jars are 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality.

· A glass container can go from a recycling bin to a store shelf in as little as 30 days. An estimated 80 percent of recovered glass containers are made into new glass bottles.

· Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or power a computer or TV for 30 minutes.

· Energy costs drop approximately 2 to 3 percent for every 10 percent of recycled glass used in the manufacturing process.

· One ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process. 

“While Recycle Glass Week serves as a milestone to raise awareness, recycling itself is too important to be confined to a week or a month,” Bragg said in a statement. “We hope that members of the public will make recycling glass a part of every day. In spite of all of the recycling efforts we see around us each day, there are tons of glass disappearing into landfills that could otherwise be made into new bottles and back on the shelves. At [the] GPI, we have provided many resources for both individuals and businesses to help close the loop on recycling, and we encourage everyone to stand up and have their glass counted ― and recounted.”