Glass is one of the oldest manufactured materials known to man. Some suggest that glass could be close to 5,000 years old! With this in mind, you can imagine the vast amount of glass that is in circulation around the country. More and more Australians are recycling their glass bottles every day for a number of reasons. Whether it is the Container Deposit rebate you receive per bottle in South Australia, or for the overwhelmingly positive effect recycling has on the environment, you should be recycling your glass materials.
If you want to recycle, or have been doing it for years, a common query is what happens to the glass when I take it to the depot? Well, glass recycling is an extensive process involving many working parts before the material can be reused. The statistics for recycled materials vary, but there have been years of up to 80% of glass being recycled after initial use. This recycling can save up to 75% of the energy that is used to produce the material from scratch, so there are incredible benefits for the environment.
Let’s use glass bottles as an example, In South Australia, you take these bottles to a recycling depot like Thorntons Recycling to get a 10 cent per bottle rebate. The bottles are then sorted based on colour (clear, green and brown). Broken bottles are then removed, and the separate colours are sold to a glass manufacturer.
The glass manufacturer then crushes the glass in abundance and turns it into a product called cullet. This material is cheaper than regular materials used for glass production, so the manufacturers love it! This cullet is mixed with raw materials and melted down turning it into the liquid which is set into new glass.
There are numerous benefits to glass recycling. Like we mentioned above, this method saves enormous amounts of energy during the production phases. A study shows that for every tonne of recycled glass, there is a saving of over 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Similarly, the manufacture of glass from recycled materials rather than new ones preserves our precious natural fossil fuels such as crude oil and coal.
The incentive provided in South Australia to take your glass to a depot, so this process can begin, means that there is less glass litter around the State. By providing the rebate, everyday Australian’s are more inclined to take their glass to the depot with minimal fuss and significant financial gains.
So now you know what happens to your glass bottles when you take them a depot like Thorntons Recycling in Adelaide. With the overwhelming environmental benefits of recycling bottles compared to the production of new materials, you should be more inclined than ever to recycle your glass. If you have some around the house, swing by Thorntons Recycling!