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Green Living 101: Why is it important to recycle glass?

Post Time:Jul 21,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:249

Unlike other packing materials, glass is 100 percent recyclable 100 percent of the time. Glass makers and recyclers are calling all Americans to recycle more glass.

The United States does not mandate the recycling of glass. Many counties do not have adequate facilities to sort plastic, paper and other recyclable materials from glass. This is known as single-stream recycling and leaves a greater chance of glass being contaminated by other materials and therefore unusable for recycling. Of the 17 million tons of glass (also known as cullet) in the waste stream, only about 2.5 millon tons are reused by glassmakers every year.

So how can you help? Start by talking to your local representative about starting a deposit program for recycling glass. This will increase the chance that deposited glass will actually be recycled and reused to make new glass items.

Another way to help is to get your community to start multi-stream recycling. This means that you take on more responsibility in the recycling process by sorting your own items for pick-up. Usually, this means you get three bins, one for paper, one for plastics and one for glass. Finally, make sure that restaurants and bars in your community have recycling programs in place.

Research conducted by O-I shows that if the United States were to increase glass recycling by only 10 percent, manufacturers would see a 2.5 percent reduction in energy required for bottle production, a 10 percent reduction of sulfur oxides, an eight percent reducion in particulates and a four percent reduction in nitrogen oxide. And, all of this glass being recycled means it won't spend an eternity in a landfill.

The EPA estimates that if 50 percent of cullet was reused, the domestic energy savings would be enough to power more than 45,000 households for a year! Recycling glass helps you and the environment. So get involved, talk to local representatives and do your part to make sure that as much glass as possible is reused.

Source: http://www.examiner.comAuthor: shangyi

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