Environmental benefits of closed-loop glass recycling

What are the environmental benefits of closed-loop glass recycling?

Apart from the economic benefits, recycling glass will also help to minimise your business' negative environmental impact.

It is important to consider the way in which your glass is being recycled. If your glass is being recycled into more glass bottles & jars (i.e. closed-loop recycling) then for every tonne you recycle you are saving 314kg of CO2 from going into the atmosphere.

However, if your glass is going into aggregate markets then the Co2 saving is negligible. It is therefore important to ask your waste contractor what happens to your glass when it is collected for recycling.

Saves energy

Making glass bottles and jars from recycled glass saves energy. The energy saving from recycling one bottle will:

  • Power a 100 watt light bulb for almost an hour.
  • Power a computer for 20 minutes.
  • Power a colour TV for 15 minutes.
  • Power a washing machine for 10 minutes.
  • Preserves raw materials and reduces CO2 emissions

Every tonne of glass recycled prevents the quarrying of 1.2 tonnes of raw materials. It also prevents the release into the atmosphere of 314kg of CO2, helping to prevent climate change.

Progress so far

The great thing about glass is that it can be recycled again and again without ever losing its clarity or purity. Bottles manufactured in the UK contain recycled content already. On average:

  • Clear bottles are made of 29%* recycled glass.
  • Brown bottles are made of 25%* recycled glass.
  • Green bottles are made of 71%* recycled glass.

*This is based on validated data from British Glass and it is taken from 2008 data.

When you search the directory you will be able to search by any of the following:

  • Colour separated: The glass is collected in different containers by colour.
  • Comingled: The glass is mixed in with other recyclables. Please note: This is not the preferred option as there can be a loss of quality of the glass.
  • Mixed glass: All glass colours are mixed together for collection.