7 Benefits of glass recycling

After talking about the Glass: a successful case study I would like to present some data and explain why it is important to recycle the glass:


    1. Energy saving: Using crushed glass from bottles (cullet) instead of virgin material saves between 20 and 30%[1] of energy. The key point to this energy saving is that, when manufacturing is carried out using recycled glass or cullet, the material’s melting point is lower and subsequently, so is the energy required. (Recycling one bottle is equal to the energy consumption of 110-watt per bulb for 4 hours; recycling 3 bottles to the use of a dishwasher service and 4 bottles to a refrigerator for one day[2])
    2. Savings in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). By using glass cullet, the carbon emissions are reduced from between 20[3] to 50%.[4] For every recycled ton of glass, the emission[5]of 200 kg of CO2 (166[6]-315[7]kg) is avoided
    3. Improvement of air and water quality by reducing its pollution: air pollution is reduced by 20%.[8] For every 10%[9] of recycled glass, the emission of particles into the atmosphere is reduced by 8%, 10% in the case of sulfur oxides and 4% for nitrogen oxide (responsible for air pollution in cities such as Barcelona or Madrid)
    4. Saving of raw materials and conservation of the environment as the need to extract is reduced: For every 1kg of glass bottles made from cullet,1.2 kg[10]of virgin materials (sand, limestone and sodium carbonate) is saved
    5. Saving resources: By recycling, the glass manufacturing industry could be supplied with almost 34% of the resources that it needs[11]
    6. Improvement of water quality by reducing pollution between 40[12] and 50%[13]
    7. Less waste is sent to landfill: For every 3,000 recycled glass bottles, 1,000 kg[14] of garbage is prevented from ending up in landfill

Glass recycling saves energy, resources, GHG emissions and improves air quality

Want to know more?

 The book Stop garbage. The truth about recycling, Alex Pascual, February 2019

► Recycling glass. Agència de Residus de Catalunya (MUSICAL)

i Recycling data in different regions in Spain (CAST)


i Information about the DRS system (Deposit Refund System) (ENG /CAST)



[1]. “Glass Recycling Facts,” Glass Packaging Institute. Por otro lado, Alejandro Mata y Carlos Gálvez, “Conocimiento del proceso de reciclaje de envases de vidrio; propuestas de mejora del proceso actual y análisis costo-beneficio de la implantación del mismo en la planta Vidriera Guadalajara”, Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara
[2]. Beneficios. www.ecovidrio.es
[3]. Carbon Footprints. www.o-i.com
[4]. Every10% of cullet used reduces 5% of CO2. Source: “Recycler le verre d’emballage. Porquoi?,” Verre Avenir, ChambreSyndicale des VerreriesMécaniques de France
[5]. Recycler le verre d’emballage. Porquoi? Verre Avenir. Chambre Syndicale des Verreries Mécaniques de France
[6]. “Glass Recycling Facts,” Glass Packaging Institute
[7]. “Glass recycling information sheet,” http://www.wasteonline.org.uk.
[8]. http://www.panda.org y http://www.ecovidrio.es
[9].  “Glass Recycling Facts” .op.cit              
[10].   Carbon Footprints.. O-I.com  y Ecovidrio .op.cit.
[11]. General prevention and waste management Program in Catalonia 2013-2020
[12]. Alejandro Mata y Carlos Gálvez, op.cit.
[13]. http://www.panda.org
[14]. http://www.ecovidrio.es

3 thoughts on “7 Benefits of glass recycling”

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