Why to recycle glass this World Environment Day – and every other day
The environment has supported early hominids, their descendants and now us for about eight million years. World Environment Day is on 5 June, and it is a time to remember that if we want the Earth to keep supporting us, we need to support it, too.
Recycling is something that all of us can be a part of, and glass recycling is an easy and effective way to help keep the Earth a safe place for all of us.
Even though most glass can be recycled, in recent years only about 20% of glass containers produced in South Africa have been recycled – about 550 000 tons of waste glass isn’t recycled, and ends up in landfills every year.
Among the reasons to recycle your old glass containers are:
Glass that isn’t recycled ends up in landfills, which ruin the natural beauty of our country, are difficult to manage and pollute the environment.
The energy that you can save by recycling just one glass bottle could be used to power a television for 20 minutes, a computer for 25 minutes, a 100-watt light bulb for about four hours, or a washing machine for 10 minutes.
It takes valuable resources to produce new glass – water, energy and non-renewable resources all get used up in the process. Recycling glass helps to conserve these resources.
There are, however, some glass items you can’t recycle, such as:
- Glass cups and plates
- Laboratory glass
- Drinking glasses
- Windshields and window glass
- Heat-resistant ovenware
- Light bulbs
But all glass bottles, even broken ones, can be recycled.
So spread the word and help keep the Earth a beautiful and safe place for us to live.
For more information visit:
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s list of factoids
- The Glass Recycling Company
- Urban earth