Glass is one of the few materials that is 100% recyclable and can be recycled again and again. A glass bottle takes 1 million years to naturally decompose, so please recycle! Currently, only 28% of glass in the United States is being recycled.
Here is the story of how glass is recycled.
1. Glass is sorted
Glass bottles are separated by color because there are different chemicals for each color.
2. The glass is crushed
Next, glass is crushed into tiny pieces called “glass cullet.”
3. Contaminants are removed
The glass cullet goes through rigorous contaminant removal such as removing metal bottle caps.
4. Glass cullet is decolorized
Color is removed and refreshed.
5. Glass cullet is molded into new products
The glass is made into new products! These include:
Where Can You Recycle Glass?
Not sure where you can recycle your glass? Hopefully you have curbside recycling, but if you’re among the 50% of Americans who don’t, then use this awesome tool to find out where you can recycle your glass.
Glass Recycling Facts
Americans generate 11.5 million tons of glass yearly.
On average, only 28 percent of the glass is recovered for recycling.
Glass recycling increased from 750,000 tons in 1980 to more than three million tons in 2011.
Food, soft drink, beer, food, wine, and liquor containers represent the largest sources of glass generated and recycled.