Why is glass no longer recyclable?

Recycled glass for windows

This recycling reduces the amount of waste that is then sent to landfill, saving both raw materials and energy compared to the manufacture of glass from new raw materials.

Every kilogram of recycled material can be reused and recycled again. Glass is an ideal material for recycling, as it can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing its properties.

The use of recycled glass helps to save energy in its production (up to 60 %), is less expensive, helps to reduce the waste eventually sent to waste plants and landfills and reduces the consumption of raw materials.

Recycled glass requires 26 % less energy than making it from scratch and reduces air emissions from manufacturing by 20 %, polluting 40 % less water, which is equivalent to saving approximately 1.2 kilograms of virgin material, as well as every ton of waste glass that is recycled prevents 315 kilograms of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere during glass manufacturing.[4]

Glass recycling in mexico

The promotion of a circular economy and the use of recycled materials from waste for production presents a great opportunity for improvement going forward. But what kind of waste can be recycled, what kind of recycled materials are there, and what are the uses of recycled materials?

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The manufacture of new products involves a constant demand for resources and materials. Since many of them are finite, it is necessary to invest efforts to make their use environmentally and economically sustainable, conserving them throughout the life cycle of the product and promoting the conversion of waste into resources.

The reduction of environmental impact through energy savings from the use of these materials is substantial: 95% for aluminum recycling, 85% for copper, 74% for iron and steel, and 65% for lead.

The wood that can be recycled comes mainly from industries. These industries dispose of wood waste such as pallets, wooden spools, furniture, chipboard, boxes and crates, offcuts, shavings, sawdust, pruning…

Glass recycling in Colombia

Glass is a hard, fragile and transparent inorganic material found in nature, although it can also be produced by man. It is obtained by melting silica sand (SiO2), sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and limestone (CaCO3) at about 1,500 °C.

All elements, all chemical substances and all materials have their own natural cycle. Glass is no exception. There are two main cycles: reuse (return and packaging, after cleaning under rigorous conditions) and recycling (for re-melting to manufacture the same or other items). There are also other possibilities (land filling, etc.) but they are less important and should be considered as a loss of valuable material. In both cases (reuse and recycling), there are no restrictions and recovery is complete.

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Archaeological studies have shown that pieces of glass from unsuccessful melts or broken glass objects were collected for new melts, thus saving raw material and labor. This was a common practice for all valuable materials, such as bronze and metals in general; spears and iron swords were recovered from battlefields to be reused or melted down. The recycling of materials began with their manufacture. With the arrival of the industrial revolution, the practice continued in a more organized form.

How to recycle glass at home

Glass is a material that, regardless of the number of times it is recycled, maintains 100% of its initial properties. The recycling chain of this material forms what could be called ‘a perfect circle’, being an example of circular economy and sustainability. Discover how recycled glass is obtained.

During the Ancient Ages, the Egyptians and Phoenicians were the main manufacturers and suppliers. After the conquest of Egypt by Rome, many glassmakers migrated to the capital of Italy and began to create factories. The Venetians, with the arrival of the Middle Ages, learn the secrets of its manufacture and the island of Murano becomes the epicenter of the creation of glass, to later spread to the rest of the world. During this period, this material was only accessible to the nobility, the bourgeoisie and the high clergy, as it was a luxury item. But the Industrial Revolution brought glass to the whole world and it was in the mid-17th century when the production and use of the bottle as we know it today became widespread.

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