About Glass

Glass is Infinitely Recyclable

Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled an infinite number of times without loss of quality, strength and functionality.

'Downcycling' and landfill can be avoided - making container glass a valuable eco-friendly packaging material. In addition, for a glass manufacturer, the use of cullet (recycled glass) is extremely beneficial. Cullet is the technical term the industry uses for crushed glass and is a very important secondary raw material. Aside savings in virgin raw material consumption, around 2.5 - 3% in energy savings can be achieved for every 10% of cullet that replaces primary, 'virgin', raw materials, as no 'reaction energy' is needed to melt cullet.

The increased use of cullet, replacing carbonates as well as other raw materials, also results in reduced CO2 emissions. The use of cullet leads to savings on both fuel and raw material costs - something the glass industry has known for some time. However, using cullet also brings down CO2 emissions, as proved by a study carried out in the UK by Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) in collaboration with a group of leading manufacturers and The Carbon Trust.

Interesting Facts about Recycling Glass


Glass Respects Nature and You

It's bad form to refuse a gift. Especially when it comes straight from Mother Nature. Look what she's given us: a splendid mix of 3 non-toxic, natural materials which add up to be the most environmentally friendly packaging.


Glass has Class

No other material matches the sheer beauty and craftsmanship that goes into producing glass.


Glass Recycles your Way of Thinking

Glass is unique. It is the only 100% recyclable packaging material. In fact, it can be recycled again and again. And again. With the result that less energy and natural resources are used. Which is good for all of us.


Glass says “Cheers!” to your Health

Glass is inert. That means your food never tastes like glass. Glass is in fact the only packaging material that doesn't need extra layers to protect your wine or beans from tasting like anything but wine and beans. If you like good food, the choice is clear as ... well, glass.


Glass has over 5,000 years of experience

Archaeologists have found evidence of man-made glass dating back to 4,000BC in the form of coatings on stone beads. Around 1,500 BC the Egyptians made the first glass bottles in a form we would recognise today.


Closed-Loop Glass Recycling Saves Energy

Making new glass from recycled glass uses much less energy than using raw materials.  The energy saving from recycling just one bottle will power one of the following:

  • A computer for 25 minutes.
  • A colour TV for 20 minutes.
  • A washing machine for 10 minutes.

Every household in the UK uses on average 331 bottles and jars each year.  If the average household recycled all their glass, enough energy would be saved to power one of the following activities:

  • A computer for 5 days.
  • A colour TV for nearly 4.5 days or 210 episodes of Coronation Street.
  • A washing machine for 2.5 days.

Closed-Loop Recycling Conserves the Environment

Recycling your glass saves raw materials from being quarried and then thrown away in rubbish dumps as used bottles and jars.  This saves hundreds of thousands of tonnes of quarrying each year and conserves the countryside for everyone.  It takes 1.2 tonnes of raw materials but only 1 tonne of cullet to make a tonne of glass.


Glass Recycling Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Every tonne of new bottles and jars made using recycled glass rather than raw materials prevents the emission of 670 kg (0.67 tonnes) of CO 2.


Glass Recycling Cuts Waste Disposal Costs

When waste is sent to a landfill site for disposal, local authorities must pay for each tonne.  Recycling glass prevents it being sent to landfill and reduces the amount of money local authorities pay for this. 


Glass Recycling Increases Public Awareness of the Benefit of Minimising Waste

Everyone can help the environment by recycling their glass.  Even a small change in behaviour has a measurable benefit.

Further Information

British Glass is an active supporter of the Friends of Glass Campaign

Description: Friends Of GlassFriends of Glass is a consumer group created by the European glass container industry that supports and promotes the right for consumers to be able to choose food and drink products in glass packaging. It unites all those who believe glass is the clear choice for themselves, their families and for the environment. For further information, please visit www.friendsofglass.co.uk .

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The energy saving from recycling a single bottle will power a 100-watt light bulb for almost an hour or a colour TV for 20 minutes.


British Glass - Twitter

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