Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Engaging students to design a creative glass bottle

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The Glassberries Design Awards, inspired by BA Vidro, are back. In this 3rd edition, BA – a European company in the glass container sector – launched the contest not only in Portugal, but also in Spain and Poland. “Develop an innovative bottle of Vodka” is this year’s challenge.

The concept of Glassberries Design Awards was inspired by the glass production cycle and the four key pillars that this entails: Solid Identity, Creativity, Innovation and Sustainable Development.

With this challenge, the ties between BA Vidro and the universities go beyond just participating in a contest, as the young design students from the invited institutions will have a briefing from the BA Marketing and Innovation team, in order to understand how the glass containers are designed and produced. They will also get personalized technical support during the process of the proposal conception. This is increasingly important at a time when the need to transfer and share knowledge is becoming deeper.

This design contest is a clear commitment to innovation and product development – development, time to market, industrial design and continuous improvement in customer service – always with a concern for eco-efficiency and social responsibility (supporting education, local communities and advocacy of an active policy on environmental impact). Further, it is a clear opportunity to educate about the advantages of glass when comparing to other packaging materials, and to explore glass’ inner qualities and beauty.

The proposals will be evaluated by an international jury, composed of BA commercial, production and product development directors, including of Slawomir Mikos, Director of Purchase and Development from CEDC, of Leszek Wojtan, President of the Board Counsel from Polmos Bielsko-Biala, of Mark Tluszcz, Mangrove co-founder and CEO, and of Tiago Barquinha, Mojobrands CEO. The winners will be announced in June this year, in a public ceremony, as in previous years.

For more information visit the website where you can out more information and the rules –

 Watch your health for spring!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The sun has finally arrived. The days are getting longer, warmer, and suddenly the cities have opened up after the past few months of the cold, rain and snow.

With the arrival of spring, we also get the arrival of a new burst of energy – we feel inspired and energetic, and there’s a sense of renewal of sunny days and an active life. But, with this sense of renewal comes the idea of cleansing – washing away those cold and wintery 6 months, to make way for a healthy and energetic body and mind for Spring and Summer!

There are many ways to cleanse and detox for the spring – starting from drinking more water, making sure to stay active and move your body, and eating your greens.

But when it comes to our health, there are other aspects that we have to consider. With the arrival of the sun and warmth, we also get the need to look after our food and drink carefully – if left in the sun or heat, or not stored properly, food and drink can quickly spoil and

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become unsafe for consumption. A good tip is to use glass packaging to store your meals and drinks – due to glass’ inert qualities, it doesn’t leech into the contents – making sure that that whatever you’re eating or drinking is exactly the same thing you had in the packaging initially, with no added chemicals!

What are you doing this spring to get into gear for the summer season? Share it with us on our Facebook page, or on Twitter, @FriendsofGlass

Happy World Health Day!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

How did you spend the 7th of April – World Health Day? And what do you do to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle?

We here at Friends of Glass know how important it is to look after your health – and we want to help people see the different ways glass packaging can help you be healthy.

Glass is a completely inert material – meaning that it prevents the leaching of chemicals into its contents. This also means that taste an vitamins contained within your food and drink aren’t damaged or affected in any way by the packaging. With food safety being such a big issue, with food safety scandals playing out in a big way, it is important to care about what you eat. Glass can ensure that through its various properties.

Glass is such a safe material when it comes to protecting its contents, that it’s not only important in the safety of food and drink contained within it, but also pharmaceutical packaging. Increasing importance is being placed upon glass in the medical industry as the best packaging material for fully and completely protecting medicine.

At the end of the day, if we want to look after our health properly, we have to be careful about what we do, to ensure that we don’t ingest or come face to face with any harmful materials. Glass can do that. Glass protects what it holds within it, and doesn’t leach into the contents to damage or change it in any way. So when you’re considering the health and safety factors of your food and drink decisions, why not consider that – and look at the packaging itself, and not just the contents? After all, your health deserves the best!

Glass Recycling = Two Pyramids!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Did you know, that more glass is being recycled today than ever before? Recent figures for the EU show that recycling rates for glass have increased by a whopping 131% since the 1990s! But what does this mean in terms of actual households? It means that over 25 billion glass bottles and jars were collected throughout the European Union in 2012. Just think of all the people that were involved in making that possible!

Glass recycling is a special thing. Glass is 100% natural and pure, made from all natural ingredients – which means that when it is taken to be recycled, the savings on virgin raw materials and resources is immense. In fact, the savings made in 2012 equal that of two Egyptian pyramids! Recycling your used glass bottles and jars puts less strain on the environment, as well as energy used to create new glass bottles and jars, helping us protect our pure, green earth.

This is why glass is a perfect example of what we call a ‘circular economy’ – ensuring that all the pre-existing benefits of glass come back to help us once again! The resource efficiency contained in recycling within a closed loop system really shows us – glass is the way to go!

And to make it better, anyone can help our beautiful earth become energy efficient and environmentally friendly – glass recycling is so simple, so easy, yet brings enormous benefits. Want to see how? Just watch the video below to learn more about this process, and learn more about the benefits it brings to all of us!

“Olive You Too!” – A Love Letter from Glass

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

You can feel it in the air. The breeze carries the smell of sun and good times to come. Spring has more or less arrived, and with it, a renewed interest in making sure your health is as good as you feel. One of the easiest and simplest ways to make a big difference in your over-all health and well-being is to change what and how you eat.

While it’s common knowledge that eating more fruits and vegetables, while limiting your sugar and saturated fat intake, goes a long way in improving your health; what most people fail to recognize is the role of packaging in their health and safety. Unlike many synthetic packaging materials that have been proven to leach harmful chemicals into the food and beverages they contain, glass is a completely natural and inert product. With only 3 main ingredients – sand, soda ash and limestone – glass’ ingredients are guaranteed to leave your food wholly untouched.

Olive oil is a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet that can help improve your cardiovascular health. The Mediterranean has long been storing this precious liquid in glass bottles and jars because of its temperamental nature. Olive oil hates light and heat. Why? Oxidation (the increase of oxygen in something) in fats is triggered by light. The oxidation reaction is a vicious cycle that creates free radicals that oxidise fat molecules that then go on to oxidise more fat molecules and so on – in short ruining your olive oil. Storing olive oil in dark-tinted glass bottles reduces the oxidation process and guarantees that no unwanted chemicals are seeping into your olive oil.

Try starting your spring off with a fresh twist on the tradition wine-tasting party. Instead, take a cue from Honestly Yum, and throw your friends and family an olive oil tasting party. Olive oil comes in a variety of flavours and styles, and what better way to try them all then with elegant stemless glasses. Your guests will ‘oooh’ and ‘ahh’ over your stunning display…that is if they aren’t too busy sampling them all!

When deciding what steps to take in detoxing and starting on a healthier lifestyle, always remember to look beyond the label to the packaging underneath. Choose the packaging that’s been trusted for centuries – choose glass.

Glass Everyday Keeps the Doctor Away

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

When it comes to their patient’s health – doctors don’t take any chances. Glass bottles and vials have been the most trusted form of packaging for doctors and pharmaceutical scientists for since the 1600s because of its inert properties. Glass bottles became more common because they were more inactive than their ceramic counterparts; and it was important that they protected the substances inside from direct light that could potentially damage the precious cargo within.

Red glass is actually the most chemically inactive coloured glass, and that is why even today, the preferred glass for medicine bottles is red. Did you know that to make red glass, gold is added to the molten substance to obtain this protective hue?

While packaging containers – and medical knowledge – have evolved significantly from the 1600s, glass is still the preferred packaging material within the medical community. Even today, in countries like India, pharmaceutical companies will have to stop using plastic or PET containers in liquid oral formulations meant for paediatric formulations, geriatrics, women in reproductive age group and pregnant women because of their potential to leach unwanted chemicals.

“India has large variation in temperatures. In summer days temperature rises to 40-45 degree centigrade and exposure of plastic bottles to such a high temperature may result in adverse effect on the drug formulations packed plastic bottles and the high temperature may result in increased leaching. The harmful effects because of the packaging and leaching may be further magnified in the case of drug formulations,” said the government’s chief advisory body on drugs-Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB).

When choosing your food, it’s crucial to consider its packaging as well – especially if your carefully monitoring your health. Other packaging materials can leach risky and unwanted chemicals into your food and drink; which can aggravate an already struggling immune system. Use food that’s been preserved and stored in glass containers and bottles if you’re trying to be mindful of what goes into your body; or simply try using a refillable glass water bottle instead of disposable ones. Why trust the purity of your healthy with anything less than 100% pure glass.


Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Recent research in Italy has unveiled that more than 2.3 million tests are carried out on food by laboratories each year. At the same time the Italian Ministry of Agriculture carries out 600,000 inspections, testing more than 200,000 samples of food products. This means that in Italy, as in other EU Countries, controls on food are high, as are food safety standards for consumers’ health.

Despite these encouraging figures, 4 million Italian families are worried about alterations, falsification and counterfeiting of food. This means that 16% of Italian families are increasingly questioning the quality of food products they buy and eat.

People are also particularly worried about packaged food. 30% of Italians believe that tests carried out by the authorities are effective. Nevertheless, 51% of the people surveyed believe that certain product categories can escape tests, as well as believing that some tests can have flaws. From this point of view, the most important element to work on is transparency, as demonstrated by the 70% of families claiming to frequently read labels and pay close attention to quality food product brands that they are going to buy.

That’s where the benefits of glass come in. It’s our belief that consumers have to also look beyond the label – as packaging matters in food preservation too. Glass is 100% natural and inert: this means that your food will retain its original taste and aroma. A recent study from Greece has discovered that white wine retains its flavour and aroma when packaged in glass bottles, as opposed to being packaged in a Bag in a Box. In addition, another recent study from Italy has found that one of Italy’s national food emblems – tomato sauce – is best preserved in glass, as it’s a pure and natural product which ensures no migration between the packaging and the contents.

‘Transparency’ is what we look for when it comes to food choices and our health – and what’s better than glass, which is the most transparent packaging material – what you see, is what you get!

So…what packaging are you going to choose next time you go shopping?

Let us know on our Facebook page, or tweet us @FriendsofGlass!

Glass and World Cancer Day

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

When we think about myths, the first things that usually pop to mind are images of brave heroes, gods and goddess…and maybe an evil witch or two. Unfortunately, when it comes to cancer, there are common myths that are a lot more deadly than just a

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pesky poisoned apple.

World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on February 4th with the goal of saving millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer under the tagline, ‘Debunk the Myths’. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a basic package of cost effective strategies to address the common cancer risk factors (tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity) would cost only USD 2 billion per year. By encouraging governments on both a national and a global level to take action against cancer, we can ensure that those suffering from this disease get the help they need and deserve.

But how does someone – on an individual level – help in raising awareness?

While doctors and scientists are still working on pin-pointing the exact causes for cancer, there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to preventing this disease. Besides exercising and reducing your tobacco and alcohol consumption, your diet plays a crucial role in preventing diseases. While most people know that eating more vegetables and fruit is important, few people are aware of the role that packaging plays in the health and safety of their food.

While other food packaging has been found to potentially leach harmful chemicals into the food and drink they contain, glass is an inert material which means that there is no risk of any contamination. Not only is glass a safer packaging material for your health, but for the health of the environment as well. Unlike other packaging materials, glass can be recycled an unlimited amount of times without losing its strength or integrity. Try making little changes, like using more glass products, when considering what you can do in your life to help raise awareness and prevent cancer.

Do you have any activities planned for World Cancer Day? Let us know on Facebook, or share with us on twitter at @GlassFriendsEUR!

Designing the Future of Glass

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

The future is now. At least, that’s what the people at Verallia Portugal believe. The role of glass as a food and beverage packaging material has a rich history extending back thousands of years.  While glass packaging is usually associated with more upscale brands and products, the demands of today’s consumer are very different from those of ancient Rome.

While glass technology has made large strides in architecture and electronics, glass packaging designs have remained relatively unchanged for thousands of years. “Conquering new markets and consumers” is the challenge that Verallia has issued to higher education students in the design field. The competition consists of anticipating new trends in consumption and predicting potential future needs in the glass packaging sector. Contestants can choose from wines, beers, sparkling, spirits and liqueurs, oils, waters, juices & sodas or jars and bottles. Their proposals can also be geared to niche or mass market, offering solutions for glass packaging, advantages for consumers and differentiating the glassmaker.

A website has even been created to help potential designers find out more information and the rules. The jury that is responsible for evaluating and selecting the lucky winner are from a variety of different backgrounds in, and connected to, the glass packaging industry; from wine industry experts to design and trends agencies, the panel is guaranteed to draw from its diverse background to choose the most inspiring design.

Verallia Portugal will award the fourth place winner with a summer internship at Verallia Portugal, and the fifth place winner with the opportunity to interview with the General Director and Human Resources Director. The top three designs will be given cash prizes. While the competition from lighter, unbreakable packaging alternatives continues to put the pressure on the glass industry; by embracing its long-standing heritage, its inert qualities and its beauty, glass is sure to secure its place as a packaging solution for the future.

What do you think the future of glass packaging is? Tell us on Facebook, or share with us on twitter at @GlassFriendsEUR

Glass Will Clear the Way for 2014

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

You’ve eaten the last of the sweets, cleared away the Christmas decorations and greeted the New Year with open arms. Maybe in 2013 you smoked too much, or were too messy or never quite got around to learning to speak Spanish like you planned. With the clean slate of the sparkling-new 2014 at your feet, now’s the time to make changes that will stick.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the options for a ‘better you’ in 2014? Or even worse – how to execute your resolution once you’ve actually decided on one? We at Friends of Glass have complied some of the most common New Year’s resolutions in a handy list, and even shown you how using glass can really clear the way to making changes that last.


1.      Get Healthy



Ahhh yes, the age old ‘get healthy’ resolution. A classic for any New Year’s resolution list.  But, according to TIME magazine, “60% of gym memberships go unused and attendance is usually back to normal by mid-February”. Obviously, getting some form of daily exercise is important to a healthier you, but changing your portion sizes is a small way to see a big difference. Try these handy glass containers from Kinetic that will help you safely store your meals and keep your from overeating.


2.      Drink Responsibly


 This one seems easy after all the merry-making of the winter holidays, but as the weeks roll on it gets harder and harder. Why? We love to socialize over cocktails/wine/beer! While there’s no harm in moderate imbibing, do your liver (and the environment) a favour and try using one of these glass water bottles from Fab instead. Not only are they super cute but you’ll be helping reduce waste and you’ll fill up on water instead of alcohol.


3.      Learn Something New

Eating cereal for dinner was acceptable when you were in university, but now that you’ve grown up (just a little), it’s time to know more about cooking than the ‘start’ button on a microwave. This simple lemon cake-in-a-jar recipe from Babble is so easy and fun you’ll wonder what took you so long to get into cooking!


4.      Save Money

But these shoes are so cute! This TV is on sale! I’ve never been to this restaurant before! Clipping coupons and staying at home instead of going out can be so boring, it’s no wonder many people have trouble saving for a ‘rainy day’. Try saving your money in a glass jar with this unique 52 week challenge featured on the blog Life As You Live It blog. Even the biggest shop-a-holic will have a nice little nest egg in no time!


5.      Get Organized

It’s always the last thing you want to do after a long day at work. Cleaning and organizing your kitchen, bedroom, closet – you name it – is never fun. To help make the organizing process a bit more like a fun ‘project’ try using glass jars to organize and put your mess on display. The Small Things Blog uses glass jars to store accessories and sewing bits and bobs in a fun and quirky way.

What are your New Years Resolutions? Share them with us on our Facebook Page or Tweet us at @GlassFriendsEUR