by Dawn Quirk
According to the October edition of Resource Recycling, because Americans alone discard over 12.5 million tons of glass per year, this transparent commodity is one of the major focuses of the recycling movement. Today, about 25% is recovered, and though 90% of recovered glass creates new bottles, some problems (such as shipping costs to bottle manufacturing plants and plant specification requirements) have made it clear that recovered glass can and should be used for other things. We told you in August that crushed glass can be used as sand substitute to aid eroded beaches, but these days glass is also finding a home as gold-course sand, decorative tile, furniture, and art. The Glass Packaging Institute asserts that there are approximately 80 post-consumer end-uses for recovered glass! Current research is being done on new end-markets for television and computer monitor glass, as well as automotive windshield glass. So next time you recycle that glass bottle, imagine it as contributing to a beach in Florida, or as a decorative vase on someone’s kitchen table.
Information for this summary was found in the October 2007 edition of Resource Recycling.