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Recycling Glass - The Advantages

What is Glass?

Glass, as we all know, is hard, fragile and transparent. Glass is thought to have been first discovered, as long ago as 1200 BC, probably in Syria or Egypt, where it was used for decorative purposes, a claim which has no scientific proof whatsoever. As per sources, the first clear glass dates from around 800 BC, with glass blowing being developed about 300 BC. From then on, glass manufacture spread rapidly, first appearing in the UK in Roman times where it was heavily taxed.

Slowly it went into a period of decline, to re-emerge as a near monopoly in Venice in about 1200 AD, where the technology was gradually disseminated. The first automated bottle making plant of its kind was opened in 1903 in the USA. Glass plays a very important role in today’s society and is widely used as a packaging material in bottles and jars, as a structural component in buildings and automobile windows, in other domestic applications (e.g. cookware, light bulbs) and for specialised technical applications in science and engineering (e.g. glass fibre, glass ceramics and optical communications).

Certain chemicals, known as ‘network formers’, when in combination with oxygen or other anions form ‘glasses’. The most common and familiar is that formed by silica. Although glass behaves like a solid at normal temperature, it has no crystalline structure; its atoms are arranged like a liquid. Indeed, evidence of glass flow can often be seen in old window panes that have been exposed to high summer temperatures, where unevenness is caused by the glass thickening at the bottom of the pane.

 Contrary to popular belief, there is more than just one type of glass, and each differs according to its required function. These include: · soda-lime glass (typified by bottles and jars, and automotive applications)  lead alkali glass (e.g. crystal glassware and television screens)  borosilicate glass (glass fibre, ovenware, glass wool insulation) other specialised small volume technical glasses (e.g. scientific and optical) The most common types of glass are sand (silica) based. The most important, soda-lime silica glass (constituting over 90% of all glass made), is typically made up of four main ingredients: · 61% sand (SiO2, with an iron content of <0.03%). · 18% soda (Na 2CO3) – an alkali, used as a fluxing agent to reduce the temperature at which the sand melts · 13% limestone (CaCO3 ) or lime (CaO), - acts as a stabiliser, giving the final product a greater durability · 8% other components, mainly alumina (Al2O3) magnesia (MgO) and refining agents.

Recycle Glass Bottles, why?

Glass is a very important inorganic material which is a one of the largest productions of industries. It can be made into a variety of different products used for man’s daily living. It is an amorphous solid which can have different compositions of semiconductors but most importantly are made of molten silica along with limestone and soda ash. Glass can be of different colours blue, brown, green color or may be clear.

The advantage of glass bottle recycling is both economic and environmental. It is a non-biodegradable waste and comprises a lot of the landfills. Glass cannot be decomposed naturally, although it darkens in color but still remains glass in composition. So glass bottle recycling is very necessary. It is not harmful for human health, but it gives a dirty look to the land.

Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the U.S says, "People understand recycling — it's the most widely practiced environmental activity in the U.S." "With the developing world taking off economically, demand for resources is picking up, and this trend is not going to subside. There just aren't enough raw materials out there at decent prices for manufacturers to get what they want," says Jeffrey Morris, a principal with Sound Resource Management Group, a consulting firm in Washington state. "Energy is scarce, too, and it takes energy to process materials into products. Disposal isn't a good use of these resources, which is why China is buying them as fast as it can."

Glass Recycling Facts:

Making new glass from recycled glass uses much less energy than using raw materials. The energy saving from recycling just one bottle will power one of the following:

A computer for 25 minutes,

A colour TV for 20 minutes,

A washing machine for 10 minutes,

A computer for 5 days,

A colour TV for nearly 4.5 days,

A washing machine for 2.5 days

The bottom line fact is that, not only does glass recycling save energy by using recycled glass, but each 1000 tonnes of recycled glass that we melt saves  314 tonnes of CO2. Every individual can play an active part in conservation by simply supporting glass recycling. This is the first step to becoming an environmentally active consumer.

Category : Glass

Tags : Recycling Glass Bottles, Recycling Glass Scrap, Glass Recycling, Recycling Glass Facts,

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About Georgy Abraham

As the bright morning of 28th May dawned in the year 1972, in the fulfillment of time according to the plan & will of Almighty Godbrought me forth into this world and I was brought up & educated in Orissa. My parents provided me with the best of education in an English medium school with high standa .... more info



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