We can change the world from the simplest things, and we are going to talk about changing the world from literally stop throwing away glass. All off this, is connected by climate change. Climate change has infiltrated every single aspect in our lives, and as a result for that we have to slightly change how we do things.
Sometimes it feels just okay, but most of the times the changes make us feel uncomfortable. Let alone the changes that force us to do things differently, like what climate change does to us. In example is how we should tolerate higher temperature nowadays compared to several decades ago.
But we don’t have to be the follower in this case, because if the changes are initiated by us, we can be more comfortable with its anticipation. As mentioned above, one of the changes that we can do is by recycling glass.
Let’s talk about glass recycling, and how it can bring betterment to our lives.
How Do We Recycle Glass?
Before going too far about glass recycling, let’s talk about the processes needed to recycle the material. And talking about that, there are two ways to recycle it: first is by repurposing used glass by yourself and the second is by sending it to recycling plants.
Talking about doing it by yourself, we think it is more appropriate to call what we would do as repurpose or reuse rather than recycle. Since most bottle contains liquid, when you empty up the bottle from its original liquid, you then can fill it up with another liquid.
Indeed, it is that simple to recycle glass, and you might have already done it. While about the next method, we need to ‘work together’ with recycling plants. For this one, the process starts from our homes, which is by separating bottles and other kinds of glass from other garbage.
Doing this will help the recycling plant to save the time in recycling your used bottles. The already separated glass is then brought to glass treatment plant where it is going to be sorted by color and washed to eliminate any impurities.
The clean and sorted ones are going to be crushed, melted, and then molded into new kind of products. The new glass is then distributed to shops and starts its new life all over again until it is thrown away into the landfill or being recycled again.
Benefits of Glass Recycling
Let’s now talk further about how recycling glass can benefit our environment. There are actually a lot of benefits, but we will only talk about some of them. The first benefit is that it saves a lot of energy compared to not recycling the glass.
The making of glass from raw materials consumes a lot of energy, especially during the mining for limestone and sand. The energy it consumes may come from fossil fuel, which means it can also release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere during the process.
For this reason, it means recycling glass is also reducing air pollution. According to a data, recycling the material can reduce air pollution up to 20%, and water related pollution by half. From this point alone you should understand that recycling glass can help our planet to tackle climate change.
Furthermore, for every ton of recycled glass, there are around 1,2 tons of non-renewable resources we can save. Imagine saving such great amount of natural resource by recycling your glass bottles! This is the reason why recycling glass is recommended by a lot of researchers and environmentalists.
If that’s still not enough offer for you to recycle glass, you should additionally learn that glass can be recycled forever. By ‘forever’, we mean indefinitely until the end of time! The decision is on us whether we want to recycle glass or not.
What’s The Problem?
From reading the chapter above, you might think that recycling glass is so beneficial. However, you might also think why didn’t we do it earlier or more passionately if the benefits are a lot like we have mentioned above?
That’s because recycling the material has its own problems to solve. It is not as easy as collecting them of the same colors, burn them down into mold, and turning me into something new. Recycling the material can be difficult for some recyclers, and if they find it too difficult to recycle, it will end up in the landfill.
For example, they can become contaminant to other kind of waste like paper and cardboard. The presence of broken pieces can even damage the recycling machine because it can be so hard and sharp. This way, the presence of broken pieces can increase the processing cost of recycling other materials.
Lack of market for recycled glass is also the reason why there are not so many glass-recycling plants or recycling plants that can process it. Without good market support, the plants will not generate any profits to cover their operational costs.
Those problems at least hamper the passion of recyclers to include the material in their program. It is just actually about how the benefits are not being able to be fulfilled when the recyclers are not supported by everyone included in the process.
The Glass All Around the World
All around the world, glass recycling doesn’t happen to give the same output and meet the same passion from one country to another. In example in Europe, recycling the material is at its most ambitious condition where things are getting even better and better each year.
However, on the other hands, recycling the material is slowly fading away in United States because the recyclers in the country have met more problems than profitable events during their business. While in the Asian continent, glass recycling is mostly done by individuals in smaller scale.
Glass recycling can be a profitable business even for smaller scales, but without any support from the surroundings, it can be a dying business. The biggest support that we can give is separating it from other kind of waste before sending it to the recycling plants.
And if you want to contribute more to recycling the material, you can even reuse or repurpose it into anything you want. It is not that hard to do it by yourself.