Glass recycling is one of the oldest and more popular of the forms of recycling that goes on. Bottle banks have been with us for quite some time while it wasn’t that long ago when you could return used bottles on the promise of a few pennies.
Those days may be gone but glass and bottle recycling is still important and most of us ensure our empty wine bottle, jars and pop bottles get but into the recycling. But have you ever wondered what happens to all that glass?
Recycling glass is an important part of being eco-friendly as glass manufacture is a high energy consuming industry. By recycling glass we are helping reduce the emissions that come from the glass manufacturing process.
Most recycled glass is turned into what is called glass cullet. This is very fine ground up glass that can be used to produce other glassware, such as new bottles, but more commonly a lot of this cullet is used for aggregate for making construction materials like asphalt. Indeed, a new from of road material called Glasphalt contains nearly a third recycled glass and has already been used in the M6 toll road in the Midlands – using an estimated 14 million glass bottles to build the 27 mile stretch of road.
But old glass and bottles can be used for more decorative items too. There is a range of glassware that is made using recycled wine and beer bottles. Either wine goblets made from recycled wine bottles, or even beer glasses made from former beer bottles. These can make a fantastic gift as they are stylish and have a nostalgic retro appeal. And there are even artists who specialise in creating works of art using recycled glass and bottles.