In only 2 days, we’ll be kicking off a whole month centered around glass recycling. Started and coordinated by the Glass Packaging Institute, Recycle Glass Month will be in its fourth year with events around the country that bring together glass suppliers, manufacturers, recyclers and you.
Well we’re getting involved in our own way.
Each weekly blog in September will focus on the how, what and why, along with the the benefits of recycled glass.
We’re announcing a Glass Challenge on Facebook and Twitter on September 1. We’re going to challenge you to recycle more glass in your neighborhood or community and every single creative idea will be rewarded.
Our glass bottles are made from a minimum of 75% post-consumer recycled glass so we’re going to run the numbers and share how much energy, material, and resource we’ve saved together.
So, won’t you join us in September for Recycle Glass Month?
This past week, The Wall Street Journal, reported on a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C. built to meet the demands for recycling plastics. What started out as a promise to push PET products like beverage bottles from landfills (and our oceans) and back into reusable materials, has fallen miserably short. Centered on Coca-Cola’s promise to recycle 100% of its bottles and cans by 2020, the article focused on the challenges of getting plastic out of our trash and into recycling facilities like the one here in S.C. Unlike glass, which can be endlessly recycled and not lose its quality, plastic recycling requires type-based separation or it can be deemed defective and defect cannot be reused for product packaging. It’s not just the mixing of plastics that’s the issue – simply put – not enough of our plastics are making it out of the trash and into the recycling bin.
A few points that stood out:
As a nation, we recycle a smaller percentage of bottles today than we did in 1995.
Coca-Cola’s bottles contain less PET recycled content today than they did 5 years ago – 5% versus 10%.
PepsiCo’s bottles contain only 10% recycled PET.
The U.S. recycling rate for plastic bottles made from PET, typically derived from petroleum, was 28% in 2009.
You can read the whole WSJ article here, or watch the video with reporter Mike Esterel.
What’s clear is that while we wait for incentive-based programs like bottle-deposits,
or we wait for better access to convenient recycling, or while we wait for engineers to find ways to better recycle plastics, our landfills and oceans are filling up with the nearly 75% of plastic that ends up in the trash.
What can we do? Here are 3 things you can do to help put plastics where they belong:
Limit the plastic you consume. Choose and use a reusable glass bottle whenever possible. Use glass food storage containers and limit purchasing ‘convenience sized’ products which are usually plastic-wrapped and highly wasteful.
Recycle. If you have to use plastic, we hope you’ll recycle it at your curbside, or in public recycling centers.
Reward. If you live in one of the 10 states with a bottle-deposit reward program, take advantage and get that coin back in your pocket. If you’re in one of the 40 states without such a program, write your state elected officials and get
rewarded for recycling. (States with bottle-deposit reward programs have on average 2x the plastic recycling rate of states without such a program.)
You know how glass feels to the touch? Think of your smart phone or your favorite wine glass – your hands tend to linger to the touch. You don’t get that tactile sensation with plastics. And since the 1970s, the push for plastic has seemed never-ending. As we learn more and more about the health dangers and environmental impact of plastic, we’re going back to the basic beauty, safety and elegance of glass. We came across this terrific video from the good folks at Corning. It centers on how glass can be used in our everyday lives in unique and innovative ways. While we’re focused on providing you with the best glass water bottle you’ll ever use, we applaud any way that we can bring the benefits of glass back into our lives.
Are you inspired? What can you imagine in a future focused on glass?
There are a thousand and more reasons to rid ourselves of plastic – our health, the environment, the cost in resources – and that’s just a start. In the U.S. less than 25% of plastic bottles are ever recycled, the rest ending up in landfills. But we know artists who are working with our throwaway plastic bottles and creating public works of art. While we wish there were no plastic bottles (or at least every one recycled), here are five examples of our plastic trash turned into public art:
Have you found any ‘plastic bottle art’ that you’d like to share?
BottlesUp will reach out and bring its reusable glass water bottle to retailers and attendees of the 2011 New York International Gift Fair, August 13-18. Tapping into the eco-health and environmental concerns among consumers, the company will feature its glass water bottles that blend the artistic beauty of glass with the environmental responsibility of pure, natural, recycled materials.
“At the New York show we can share our story with retailers looking for a product that blends art, a healthier product, and environmental responsibility,” said Glass Artist Laurel Herter, founder, BottlesUp. “Most everyone recognizes the art and beauty of glass. Our reusable glass water bottles appeal to people for different reasons. Some consumers recognize the purity of glass for their healthy lifestyle, some see the practical functionality of a reusable glass water bottle, and some appreciate a green product that delivers on the promise of environmental responsibility.
With more than 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and 85 countries, the New York
Gift Show highlights creative, sustainable and eco-friendly products among others. BottlesUp will focus on reaching retailers and attendees seeking innovative new products for now and for the gifting season ahead. The company’s sturdy 22-ounce glass water bottle is designed by an acclaimed glass artist and is 100% sourced in North America. Each individual bottle is created from a minimum of 75% recycled glass using ancient techniques in a modern glass-making facility in Mexico. The bottles are enhanced by colorful food-grade silicone caps and grippers made in Maine. BottlesUp’s bottles are free of known toxins including Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and polycarbonates that research has shown can compromise human health. There is zero plastic in the product or packaging.
In New York BottlesUp will be located at the show in Booth 3613. Will you be there? Let us know!