Archive for the ‘Recycling Tips’ Category

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!

A Glass Tale – the story goes on…

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Have you ever wondered what the glass recycling process looks like? Let’s follow the journey of glass in this little story!

We’re on a little truck full of bright pieces of glass. We’re travelling through a motionless landscape, a sort of miniature world, standing still in time. Our little truck comes to the glassworks, where, since a long time already, human hands have forged glass. Here glass can be reborn again from itself, over and over again, accompanying us as new bottles and jars.

Then, once we leave the glasswork factory our jars are now ready to welcome juicy fruits that become sweet jams and sauces! Glass is not just perfect for preserving taste and flavour but it’s also beautiful, as it’s brilliant, transparent and natural!

We’re still following our glass friend…The little kid lets the glass voyage continue by throwing the glass jar into a glass collection point. From here, the story of the glass journey starts all over again – the little truck will again pick it up, and take it to the glassworks, so that the cycle can begin again. It’s a wheel in everlasting motion, from the glassworks to the kitchen, from waste back to glass.

The real protagonist of our story is glass, and it’s never ending possibilities! Unlike any other material, it can be reused endlessly, while retaining its values and natural features throughout time!

This glass story is told by Assovetro, the Italian association of glass producers. Watch this video to visualise the story and join the magic glass world yourself!

Glass Containers – the story goes on. from Assovetro on Vimeo.

Advertising Agency: The Nursery

Director: Nicola Smanio


European Week for Waste Reduction Week Needs You!

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Did you know that each year in the European Union alone, we throw away more than 3 billion tonnes of waste? That’s billions—with a ‘b’. Around 90 million tonnes of this waste is hazardous.  With so much waste, it’s clear that careful management and disposing of this waste, without damaging our environment, is a major concern for everyone.

That’s why the European Commission began an initiative in 2009 to promote awareness, and supportive action for, sustainable resources and waste management. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the mantra of this initiative, and it’s easy to see how using glass containers coincides perfectly with the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR).

One of the great things about glass is that it can be recycled again and again without losing its clarity or purity.  Making glass bottles and jar from recycled glass also helps to conserve energy. According to, the energy you can save from recycling just ONE glass 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

Using refillable glass water bottles and food containers also reduces the amount of packaging that you will throw away.

Make sure to visit the European Commission’s website about Waste Reduction Week to see what’s happening in your area, and what you can do to raise awareness about waste reduction.

What changes do you plan on applying to your life to help reduce your waste? Share with us on Facebook or tweet us at @GlassFriendsEUR

Joining hands to turn recycled glass into a resource!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

With a population of over 7 million and a land area of just 1,100 square kilometres, Hong Kong is the second most densely populated area in the world. Almost 7,000 people live in each square kilometre (km2) of land. That compares to 400/km2 in Europe’s most densely populated country – the Netherlands.

With so little land available, recycling plays an important part in dealing with Hong Kong’s daily output of waste. More than 150 tonnes of glass bottles enter the waste stream every single day.

To help establish a circular economy for waste glass, the Hong Kong government has proposed a mandatory producer responsibility scheme (PRS). The PRS will ensure all stakeholders in the glass supply chain share responsibility for recycling waste glass.

To promote the scheme, Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has organised a roving exhibition on glass recycling using the slogan ‘Let’s Join Hands to Turn Waste into a Resource’. Aimed at the general public, the exhibition includes examples of art glass, game booths and videos. There is also a glass recycling counter where people can hand-in rinsed glass bottles in return for a souvenir.

If you are in Hong Kong and you would like to visit the exhibition, check-out the exhibition schedule on the EPD website.

Glass recycling in Europe – an infographic!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Recycling glass is cool, recycling glass is hot (literally, you need quite a few degrees to recycle glass), but above all: recycling glass is necessary. For you, for me, for our planet.

FEVE has been collecting data about glass recycling over the past few years. And as it turns out, Europe is doing pretty well on this subject. That’s

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why we’ve made a nice and clear infographic so you can see it with your own eyes. Because we hope you’re part of that 80% of European consumers who regularly recycle their glass bottles… And if you’re not, what are you waiting for?

Feve Infographic Glass Recycling


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Moves to Increase Sustainability of Drinking Water Gain Ground

Friday, January 25th, 2013

During 2012 we reported on a number of initiatives to limit the use of disposable water containers. The goal of campaigners is to increase the use of sustainable containers such as glass bottles which can be recycled and refilled

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over and over again without losing their qualities.

In December, students at Canada’s Thompson Rivers University petitioned the university’s Board of Governors to ban drinks which are not packaged in sustainable containers. After collecting more than 4,000 signatures and 2,500 pledges, the student’s union is hopeful that the Board agree to its request. If adopted, bottled water will only be available on campus in containers which are easily recycled such as glass.

On 1 January 2013, the city of Concord, Massachusetts became one of the first municipal areas in the US to prohibit the sale of bottled water in containers smaller than one litre. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste produced and the number of disposable bottles which often end-up in the world’s oceans.

Upcycling Glass Coke Bottles Creates Treasure

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Since Coca-Cola’s contour bottle was first introduced almost a century ago, it has become a design icon and closely associated with the Coke brand. In parts of the world such as Asia, the glass contour bottle is still in use. As they are made of glass, the bottles are collected, washed and reused over and over again.

But what can you do with the bottles which have deteriorated from extensive reuse? While the usual response would be to recycle them, for Oki Sato the answer was upcycling. Director of Japan’s nendo Design Office, Sato saw an opportunity to utilise traditional artisan techniques to create a new product using only the contour bottles which were ready for recycling. That product is Bottleware, a set of five beautiful pieces of glass tableware.

Bottleware was first exhibited at DESIGNTIDE TOKYO 2012 and is now on sale at a range of exclusive retailers in Japan, and via the Bottleware site. Using a technique used to create traditional handicrafts in the Aomori region of Japan, the tableware replicates many of the details of the glass contour bottle such as the colour and thickness of the glass. Sato’s design for the tableware also replicates the ridges found at the bottom of the contour bottle.

As each piece is handcrafted, the Bottleware range is very expensive. But there are much simpler ways to upcycle your used glass Coke bottles – some of which you can try at home. Simplest of all is Photojeanie’s candleholder – just give the bottle a rinse and stick in a candle!

Wind chimes are another popular way to upcycle glass bottles and many types are available from handcraft sites such as Etsy. You can even upcycle your own glass bottles to make a wind chime at home if you have access to glass cutting tools. They make a delightful tingling sound as they are blown by the breeze.

Have you upcycled your used glass bottles or jars? We’d love to see your creations on the Friends of Glass Facebook page!

Friends of Glass Support Polish Cyclists in Marathon

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

This year the Friends of Glass have supported two of the

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participants in the four-day Mazurska Star cycling marathon. The marathon visited four towns in Poland’s Masurian Lake District – a network of more than 2,000 lakes in the north-east of the country. Known for its natural beauty, more than 30% of the Masuria area is covered by forests.

Friends of Glass is a big supporter of healthy, sustainable lifestyles, so it was only natural for us to provide assistance for this fun event in one of Europe’s most pristine environmental areas. A number of events were also held to raise awareness of recycling and the benefits of glass.

Facts, Not Fiction

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

On 26th March, FEVE published the latest numbers on glass recycling in Europe.

This is what it looks like:

Glass Recycling in Europe, 2010

In 2010, 68% of household glass in Europe was recycled.

This is what it represents:
- 68% is equal to 25 million glass bottles and jars.
- 20 out 25 million (80%) were recycled back into bottles and jars.
- 80% of household glass requires about 12 million tons of the planet’s natural resources (sand, limestone, soda ash) and releases 7 million tons of CO2 into our planet’s atmosphere to produce.
- 7 million tons of CO2 is approximately the same amount attributed to a small nation of cars on the road per year*.

Every 10% increase in recycled glass = a decrease of
-10% in sulfur dioxide (SO2)
-6% in nitrogen oxide (NOx)
-17% in carbon dioxide (CO2)
-2.5%°in electricity and natural gas
-6°C in furnace temperatures (during manufacturing process)
-9.5% in raw materials.
(Source: Glass Packaging Institute)

This is what it means:
These characteristics make glass a clear example to follow in the ambitious strategy of the European Commission to make the European Union a ‘resource efficient’ economy where recycling is the key factor to waste reduction and where waste is considered as a valuable resource.
(Conclusion of the Feve Study.)

*Calculated on 4 million people between ages 19 – 65 years, Switzerland:

A Taste of Glass

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Facts:
Glass jars have been around since the 1800s but it wasn’t until the after 1900 that home canning was encouraged and seen as a way to provide better diets, preserve flavor, food longevity and reduce the cost of living. By the end of the century, the decline of the family farm, the low cost of commercially canned foods and the widespread use of freezers had made home canning more of a hobby than a habit.

The Trends:
In the new millennium, we have other things on our mind. With the growing concerns over global-warming, as well as our valid worries over food safety, the relationships between food, flavor, health, packaging and sustainability are now at the forefront of our thoughts.

A trend among consumers is emerging: the desire to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. This has been seen in the rapid rise of organic food and farming, the return to popularity of home-cooking and preserving, and an increasing awareness and interest in our foods’ sources and ingredients.

More and more of us are realizing that the future of our planet may very well depend on where we get our food, what we choose to eat and how we decide to store it.

The Research:
Commissioned by FEVE (the European Container Glass Federation), the InSites study asked over consumers in 17 countries across Europe what they thought about various packaging materials.
In a nutshell, the survey reveals:

-          65% of consumers prefer glass because it preserves taste,
-          63% perceive that it is safest health-wise,
-          50% say it is the most environmentally-friendly.

The same kind of survey was carried out in the States in 2006 with the same results:

'Glass is Life' Awareness Campaign, USA

Furthermore, glass is the only packaging material rated “GRAS” or “generally regarded as safe” by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
(Newton Marketing & Research of Norman, Oklahoma)

Clearly, consumers agree that glass is their preferred packaging for consumer health and the environment.

Nutritious and Delicious
The InSites survey goes on to show that the preference for glass is particularly high when it comes to certain food and drink categories where flavor is everything, such as spirits, wines and beers. More than that, glass also preserves the natural aromas, tastes and textures, making it the perfect material to store fresh and perishable products as fruit juices, smoothies and tomato-based sauces.

Glass is the material of choice for chefs, in particular, Geir Skeie who knows that glass is a true food lover. The purity of glass ensures that food retains its great flavour.

Recipes and Instructions
Why not give it a go? Here are some handy links to get you started:

Canning, The Epicurious Way
Canning Safely, Weck
Home Canning, Kaufmann Mercantile Blog
Meyer Lemon Marmalade Recipe, Kaufmann Mercantile Blog
How to Can, Fresh Preserving
Food in Jars Blog
Recipes, Saving the Season
Preserved Fruits and Sweetmeats, Jennie June’s American Cookery Book, by Jane Cunningham Croly. Google Books.
Kitchen Lighting Made From Weck Canning Jars, The Kitchn
Weck Canning Jars, Katy Elliot

Conserving Fruit

Photo by: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images