The facility hopes to divert some of the state’s more than 300,000 tons of container glass that currently gets routed to the landfill. Colorado does not have a deposit law on bottles, which means that the state’s average glass recycling rates are on the low end of the spectrum. States with container deposits recycle as much as 60 percent of the container glass in their waste streams. By comparison, Colorado recycles less than 25% of its container glass today. Read more
The European Commission’s ITRE Committee has agreed with the results of a study conducted by the European Container Glass Federation, which determined that glass is a “permanent material.” The designation is important because it means that container glass is a primary raw material for new glass. The goal of the Commission is to identify materials that can be recycled effectively and repeatedly, in order to reduce the amount of new or raw materials that are extracted from the land.
Glass is particularly interesting as a recycled material because cullet (pulverized glass) reduces the amount of energy needed to reform the glass into new containers. This also meets another of the Commission’s goals – reducing the amount of energy used in material manufacturing in Europe.
The designation is currently dependent upon the development of effective glass recycling programs in all European Union countries. According to the study, about three-quarters of all container glass in Europe is recycled, but the actual percentage varies from country to country. The flip side of that is the 25% of container glass that makes its way into landfills in Europe. The Commission would like to find ways to more effectively recycle, and reduce the amount of container glass that gets thrown away.
The study is part of the recently adopted “Circular Economy Package” by European Union countries. The aim of the Circular Economy Package is to promote more recycling, to set recycling and landfill targets, and to incentivize the use of recycled materials among EU member nations.
While the study itself applies to container glass, the goal of recycling and reuse of glass increases the long-term likelihood that glass will play a more important role in material use in Europe. Glass is both a decorating and working surface, and will be used more extensively in EU countries as a way to meet “Circular Economy” targets.
Glassprimer™ glass paint is specially formulated to bond permanently to glass surfaces. The paint works on all types of glass, and will not chip, fade or peel once the paint has cured. Curing takes place within 72 hours of application, and can be used on both interior and exterior applications. In addition, Glassprimer™ glass paint offers exceptional UV resistance, even when exposed to direct sunlight.
If you’d like more information about Glassprimer™ glass paint, please visit the rest of our site. If you’d like to purchase Glassprimer™ glass paint, please visit our online store .
Photo Credit: Michael Rosenstein , via Flickr.com
Recently, we discussed the trend in some major cities to eliminate glass from their curbside recycling programs. The rationale for eliminating glass was primarily economic: glass takes up a lot of space in recycling storage facilities that could be used to house other materials. Glass is heavy, and difficult to transport. Glass is dangerous, because workers can get cut on broken glass. In addition, container glass needs to be sorted by color prior to recycling. Finally, when it comes down to it, glass is inert, and can sit in a landfill indefinitely without harming the environment. It’s a higher priority to keep other, more dangerous items out of the landfill, and if the warehouse space can be used for these other, more dangerous materials, then it’s a fair tradeoff.
Recycling glass takes less energy
You can probably come up with even more reasons NOT to recycle glass, but nothing changes the fact that glass is perfectly recyclable. A finite amount of glass could be produced, melted down and reproduced in a continuous cycle, with no loss in the quality of the end product. Recycled glass takes less energy to melt down and recreate than it takes to produce virgin glass entering the product stream from raw materials.
Glass is superior to plastic or other disposable packaging materials (or building materials, for that matter) because it bears the designation “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). What you put into a glass container will not change the container, and the container will not change the substance inside of it. The same can’t be said for plastic packaging, which has been demonstrated as a source of contamination. This is especially important for food packaging, and products that are meant to come into contact with food, like cups, plates and utensils.
It takes a lot of energy to create glass from scratch. Furnaces, which run on gas or electricity, need to consume a lot of energy to create the temperatures needed to turn raw materials into their molten state. It takes about one-third less energy to recycle one ton of glass than it does to convert raw materials into one ton of virgin glass.
In glass recycling, it’s typical to mix used glass with new glass to create a hybrid product. From a product quality perspective, there’s no reason “old” glass couldn’t be used entirely to make new containers, and the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) set a goal for its members to use at least 50% recycled glass in their production processes by 2013. Practically, it’s possible to make new glass using 95% reclaimed glass and 5% new raw materials. The 5% drop is accounted for by contamination and other factors. Scrap glass, called cullet, is typically broken into pieces, but some pieces end up being too small (even dust-like) to be recycled.
A city’s decision to collect or not collect container glass is based on the economics of transporting, sorting and storing glass. Taken over the lifecycle of the glass, even with increased storage, sorting and transportation costs, recycled glass still makes both economic and environmental sense.
If you’d like more information about decorating with environmentally friendly glass, please check out the rest of our site. If you’d like to purchase Glassprimer™ glass paint, please visit our online store .
Photo Credit: Eric Bartholomew, via Flickr.com
“Glass” is a pretty broad term, but there are dozens of different kinds of glass. How glass is made and what it’s made of determine how the glass looks and what it can do. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of glass and what makes them stand out.
Most common types of glass are flat, container
Flat glass. One of the most common types of glass is “flat glass.” This kind of glass may also be called “sheet glass” or “plate glass.” Flat glass is the kind of glass you use in windows. You can also use it in doors and cars, interior walls – really anyplace you need a sheet of glass. Flat glass comes in a variety of thicknesses and can include many materials.
The term “flat” is a little misleading because flat glass isn’t always flat! Flat glass can be shaped or bent after it’s initially produced. This allows “flat” glass to be custom shaped for applications like windshields. Flat glass is the most common kind of glass produced today. It uses the basic glass formula – soda, lime and silica. It’s inexpensive to make, infinitely recyclable, chemically stable and relatively hard, but is soft enough to be scratched by steel. Soda-lime glass is liquid at a temperature of about 1,400-1,600° C. Most glass is recycled; the melting temperature of recycled glass is actually lower than that of newly formed glass.
Today, flat glass is mass-produced by spreading (or floating) flowing molten soda-lime-silica mixture over a molten metal (usually tin) bed. The molten glass “floats” on top of the molten metal bed. The glass can be made thicker or thinner by varying the speed of the rollers that move the molten glass along in the production process. The molten glass flattens uniformly under its own weight, and is slowly cooled (annealed) in the final stages of the manufacturing process. The resulting glass does not need to be polished or ground. It can be cut into smaller sheets, and used in a wide variety of applications.
Container glass. Container glass is a “close cousin” of flat glass. It uses the same basic formula of soda-lime-silica, but it differs slightly in composition. Container glass has higher concentrations of silica, calcium oxide and aluminum oxide, and lower concentrations of magnesium oxide and sodium oxide. This minor variation in formula gives container glass a slight edge over flat glass in chemical durability. These minor differences make container glass a better choice for storing foods and liquids.
Container glass starts out as a molten mixture, just like flat glass does, but instead of floating, container glass is created by blowing or pressing the molten glass, to achieve the desired shape. Container glass is usually much thicker than flat glass and slightly more durable, although not significantly so.
Glassprimer™ glass paint is designed to work with all types of glass. Most commonly, flat glass is used for decorative applications. Flat glass is used to create decorative backsplashes, glass doors, glass walls and glass windows. The minor differences in glass formulation will not change the performance of Glassprimer™ glass paint when it is used on either flat glass or container glass. Beyond flat glass and container glass, there are a number of different types of glass, which we’ll look at in subsequent posts.
For more information about Glassprimer™ glass paint, please check out the rest of our site. If you’d like to purchase Glassprimer™ glass paint, please visit our online store .
Glass Paint – self-priming/permanent-bonding glass paint began outside of the USA in early 1997. In late 2003 Glass Paint moved to the USA for distribution in North America.
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