Glass is mainly composed of very pure sand, called silica. To this sand are then added natural elements, such as lime, limestone, or potash. Did you know that glass is also present in nature? Indeed, there are also volcanic eruptions that reject a black and sharp rock.
In its pure state, glass is transparent but can be colored with a chemical compound of the desired shade. It is then transformed into a multitude of objects and packaging, including bottles, flasks, jars, and jars.
Glass makes up about 18% of the products thrown away for recycling. Quite complex to recycle, mainly due to the fact that it can break and contaminate other materials, it is nonetheless a recyclable and easily reusable resource. In this article, let’s take a look at this material and find out how to recycle it properly.
What is the proportion of recycled glass?
Glass sorting methods centers in China still being tested and currently, 25% of the recycled glass that is recovered is reached. It may not seem like much, but this rate will rise steadily as the glass sorting and cleaning equipment is all operational. It rises, for example, to 54% in some places. Today, new processing tools are emerging and will soon allow the glass leaving sorting centers to be treated to the purity of between 95 and 99%.
What are recyclable glass objects?
In your recycling bin, you can put all types of containers there such as glass jars and bottles with or without labels, clear or colored glass bottles as well as carbonated and alcoholic drink bottles, in particular:
· Bottles of wine, juice, carbonated water, etc. .;
· Bottles of oil and vinegar;
· Jars for food and products (jar of pickles, sauce, etc.).
Remember to rinse the containers. As for the lids, you can leave them on.
Other products or packaging, such as light bulbs, fiberglass, mirrors, pyrex dishes, dishes, drinking glasses, glass, or fluorescent tubes go either in the waste bin or in the ‘eco-center to find out which items are accepted at the FTM service center China, visit website and learn how to Make Recycled Glass Sand.
How is glass recycled?
Once the glass is placed in your recycling bin, it is sorted at the ChinaFTM center. It is cleared of intruders, such as caps, labels, lids, etc. Then, glass that cannot be recycled, such as broken dishes, drinking glasses, mirrors, and other small glass objects, is separated from the rest.The glass is then ground into a fine powder, called a cullet. What happens after this change? The cullet is transported to the glass factory, where it is melted in the oven to turn into a soft paste, which is then molded or blown to become a brand new glass product again.
Circular economy: reuse of glass
By recycling glass, we reduce greenhouse gases. Then, we save not only raw material but also energy, because it takes less to process the cullet than to process the raw material. In addition, since glass can replace sand in many applications, its reuse also reduces the demand for sand, which is a non-renewable resource doomed to disappear.
How to recycle glass
Contrary to what one might think, glass packaging is often used at work. Aperitifs with colleagues, breakfasts, or company evenings, there is no lack of opportunities. Each French person throws away an average of 30 kg of glass per year and thanks to a successful process, glass is recycled very well in France. It is also the only household waste that is 100% recyclable and for which there is (almost) no loss of material during the recycling process.
Unfortunately, another 20% of glass packaging ends up in household waste. What a shame when you know that this material is infinitely recyclable! We tell you more in this article on glass recycling.
Glass recycling: a sector that has gained ground
· The composition of the glass
· Against all expectations, 60% of glass packaging is made from recycled material:
· 40% natural raw materials: sand, limestone, and sodium carbonate.
· 60% cullet: this is recycled glass, resulting from the recycling process.
Cullet has several advantages. It will allow the glass to be melted at a lower temperature, consume less energy, and therefore reject less CO2. For 1 kg of cullet used, that’s 1.2 kg of raw material saved!
The glass recycling process
There are 20 glass processing plants in China (source ADEME) and 100% of the glass collected is recycled in the region. The first collection of material in France was organized from 1974: first within large agglomerations then towards smaller towns). The glass recycling process has changed very little recently!
Here are the main steps:
· The raw materials and the cullet are mixed in an oven at 1500 degrees to obtain glass paste
· Drops of glass paste are then blown into a mold and the containers obtained are cooled.
· Quality control makes it possible to detect containers with defects and to recast them
· Finally, the containers are delivered to the factory for bottling.
· Collecting glass still has some work to do!
The more we sort, the more qualitative the cullet
Before being reused, the cullet must be as purified as possible to serve as secondary raw material. The better the quality of the cullet, the more robust the packaging will be and again recyclable. To do this, there are several steps to follow:
· Manual sorting is necessary to remove the biggest sorting errors (plastics, cardboard, etc.)
· The different types of glass are separated by optical sorters (dishes and earthenware for example)
· The impurities are finally removed: the metal is separated by a magnet and the papers, the labels are peeled off simply with water.
What are the false friends of glass?
Some objects look like glass, but they really aren’t. We must first identify the materials that are infusible because they are the most penalizing for the recycling process:
· Ceramics, porcelain, terracotta, and crockery (a dish, a glass)
· A windshield, a glass, a mirror: these flat glasses require special treatment
A light bulb or a television screen: these elements must be cleaned up beforehand. Better to entrust them to the bulky ones or to your team of happy collectors the next time they come to your premises! Our 5 in 1 box, for example, allows your company’s employees to throw away their light bulbs (from the office as well as those at home) as well as other small everyday waste: pens, ink cartridges, batteries, and pens.
In the bin dedicated to glass in your building or in collection points in your neighborhood, just like in our selective sorting box dedicated to the collection and recycling of glass, you can throw away all packaging glass (food products and non-toxic liquids), namely:
· Clear or dark glass bottles (wine, beer, water, etc.)
· Glass jars (jam, preserves, etc.)
· Glass yogurt pots
· Glass vials.
We also recommend that you remove the lids and caps and check that the containers are empty (to avoid bad smells). Since 2015, thanks to your sorting efforts, we have collected more than 730 tonnes of glass in more than 1,000 companies!