Every year, approximately 1.3 million tonnes of glass packaging is consumed in Australia. Evidently, glass is one of the most common types of packaging, and also has an incredibly long-life cycle. In fact, it takes approximately one million years for glass to naturally break down in the environment, and it can take even more time if it’s stuck in masses of landfill. However, glass is also a very recyclable material. Many types of glass can continuously be recycled and reprocessed, making it ready to go for reuse. Here’s what you need to know about reusing glass, disposing it and what happens afterwards.
Firstly, the best thing to do to reduce the environmental impact that disposed glass can have is to not dispose of glass waste in the first place. Instead, try to find a way to repurpose it. Empty glass jars are often great for storing food, homemade cleaning products, small items and even make great flower vases.
Not all glass can be recycled. Only glass jars and bottles can be put into the co-mingled recycling bins or kerbside recycling bins. Drinking glasses, glass windowpanes and oven-proof glass cannot be recycled because these have a different melting temperature to glass bottles and jars. Mirrors, lightbulbs and light tubes also cannot be placed in co-mingled recycling binds or kerbside recycling bins for collection. Specific acceptance criteria for each state and territory varies, so make sure you check exactly which types of glass can and cannot be collected for recycling in your state or territory, as well as your local council, according to their rules and regulations.
How is glass recycled?
After glass is collected for recycling from homes, businesses and recycling centres, it will be transported to a materials recycling facility, where it will go through a range or processes to get it reusable. First, the different types of glass are sorted by colour, and the separated glass is crushed. Then comes a process which removes any metals and small contaminants from the crushed glass. The glass is then further crushed and is melted down. Finally, the glass will be poured into moulds to become new bottles and jars to be reused.
This process can keep going endlessly, with no loss in the glass’ quality, purity or durability too. In addition, recycling glass demands much less energy than what is needed to melt raw materials to make brand new jars and bottles
Using recycled glass during the manufacturing process of these products needs much less materials and requires less energy too. Both of these factors will lead to lower carbon emissions from manufacturing. Ensuring that your glass jars and bottles are properly recycled will ultimately lower the potential environmental impact this has through reducing carbon emissions and decreasing the amount of glass that ends up in landfill
To take care of your recycling waste and other waste management needs, contact Solo Resource Recovery at 1300 46 76 56 or contact us via our website. Our friendly team members are always excited to offer you advice on how you can do your part to help our environment.