Why is glass recycling so important?
We all know the importance of recycling, and with paper, card and aluminium cans it’s relatively simple to do. When it comes to glass however, there seems to be a few extra barriers in place – do you have to separate your glass by colour? Can you recycle glass that’s been broken or is it too dangerous? Does your recycling provider even take glass, as some councils don’t? Despite recently proposed changes to how glass is collected and recycled, ReGen are fully committed to offering a convenient glass recycling service to all councils who require this service – and we would strongly encourage this practice continues. Find out more about why glass recycling is so important in our post below.
Benefits of glass recycling
- Glass can be recycled many times over without it degrading, so this infinite usage means that no further raw materials need to be used in order to create more. If we all recycled our glass it can go on being used forever.
- Save energy and reduce carbon emissions by using recycled glass – each 1000 tonnes of recycled glass that gets melted down saves 314 tonnes of CO2.
- Recycled glass has lots of commercial uses – not just in new glass containers, but it’s also used in tiles and fibreglass products in the construction industry
Challenges with glass recycling
As glass comes in three main colours, sorting it does make a difference to the success of recycling – in some cases where the glass colours have been mixed, this contamination makes the end product unsuitable for glass container customers as it doesn’t match the high colour standards required. Glass food and drink containers, which is what most of us would recycle, are easily recycled but other sources of glass require more processing (like windows or kitchenware like Pyrex dishes). The biggest challenge is the collection process, as glass is by its nature very fragile, and for some recycling providers it can make it difficult to sort once it reaches the plant. Once at the plant, the broken glass can take its toll on the plant machinery equipment, resulting in higher maintenance costs and more frequent repairs.
Why ReGen are different when it comes to glass recycling
These challenges aren’t a problem for the team at ReGen however. Our state of the art plant includes a glass cleaning plant, with 95% of our glass being recoverable waste. We have also recently partnered with Belgium-based High 5 Recycling, who have the most technically advanced glass plant in Europe, and have invested heavily in the required technology to successfully sort MRF glass. This will allow us to successfully recycle commingled glass instead of having to send it to landfill.