Kathleen Plate, Sustainable Lighting Artist and Recycled Glass Artist

There is an indescribable beauty to the interaction of glass and light. Here in our Bluffton studios, we have glass installations that change the play of light into the studio depending on the time of day and also the time of year. For Recycle Glass Month, we’d like to share the beauty of recycled glass through Kathleen Plate’s recently revealed Smart Glass Guggenheim Chandelier.

Smart Glass Guggenheim Chandelier
Smart Glass Guggenheim Chandelier by Kathleen Plate

“The spiral lighting fixture, inspired by the architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, features a white globe light and glass rings. The chandelier made its national debut at the Guggenheim Museum in New York during the Architectural Digest Home Show and now moves to its current home at Switch Modern in Atlanta.”

Kathleen’s beautiful pieces are made from recycled glass from soda, wine, beer and even salad dressing bottles.  It’s another clear example that glass – with its three simple and natural ingredients – can be endlessly and beautifully recycled. In addition to the Smart Glass Guggenheim Chandelier and Kathleen’s other works of art for the home, she is the founder and designer of Smart Glass Jewelry with this beautiful work showing up on fashion-forward runways and the small screen.

You can bring more of the beauty of recycled glass into your world, whether you make the smart, healthy choice for a reusable glass water bottle or make your next jewelry piece a declaration of sustainable luxury – you can discover the beauty, simplicity and endless
potential of glass.

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September is Recycle Glass Month

September Glass Recycle MonthIn 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.

  1.  Each weekly blog in September will focus on the how, what and why, along with the the benefits of recycled glass.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

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Our Future: A Day of Glass

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?

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Infographic: Consumers Agree Glass is Better

In April of this year, Omnibus conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers here in the U.S. The survey was an effort to better understand how we think of glass relating to the safety and quality of our food and beverages. Recently on this blog, we’ve shared a lot about the health and environmental dangers of plastic. So when we ran across this terrific infographic summary of the Omnibus survey, well we just had to share.

Safety and Quality of Glass for Food and Beverage
Infographic Courtesy of OI

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20 Facts About Glass

At BottlesUp, we’re all about glass, beautiful glass that is environmentally responsible. So let us share 20 fun facts you may not have known about glass:

1. Before man figured out how to craft glass, nature was already making it. When lightning strikes sand, the heat sometimes fuses the sand into long, slender glass tubes called fulgurites. The intense heat of a volcanic eruption sometimes fuses rocks and sand into a glass called obsidian. In early times, people shaped obsidian into knives, arrowheads, jewelry, and money.
2. Around 3,000 B.C. is when we find the first real evidence of manufactured glass by people. The Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria were hubs of glassmaking. But you can thank an ancient Roman for the fact for glass in your everyday life. Because of their empire-making ways, Romans spread a more modern glass manufacturing knowledge to its newly conquered lands.

3. One of the most valuable glass art objects in the world is the Portland vase (pictured in this post), which was probably made in Rome about the beginning of the Christian Era, between AD 5 and AD 25.

The Portland Vase, made between AD 5 and AD 25.
The Portland Vase, made between AD 5 and AD 25.


4. The first the glass plant built in the United States was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1608.

5. In the 1850s, bottles and flasks were first used mainly for whiskey.

6. The screw-top Mason jar for home canning appeared in 1858.

7. Ordinary glass turns brown when exposed to nuclear radiation, so glass companies developed a special non-browning glass for use in observation windows in nuclear power plants.

8. Glass containers can be recycled—that is, broken up and then melted with silica sand, limestone, and soda ash to make glass for new containers. Glass can be recycled easily because it does not deteriorate with use or age.

9. The energy from recycling one glass bottle can power a computer for 30 minutes.

10. In the US today, about 80% of glass containers are recycled, compared with less than 25% of plastic containers.

11. By the end of 2013, glass manufacturers plan to use 50% recycled material in the production of new glass bottles. This step will save enough energy to power 45,000 households for a year, and 181,550 tons of waste from landfills each month.

12. Glass has the quickest turnaround of any curbside product, back on store shelves in as little as 30 days.

13. Glass can be recycled indefinitely and not lose its quality.

14. The glass container industry is worth US$5.5 billion dollars.

15. Recycled glass, also called cullet, requires a lower heating temperature than glass from raw materials, thus requiring 40 percent less energy.

16. Brown glass is used most often for food or drink containers, especially beer, because the amber tint reflects ultraviolet light and protects against spoilage.

17. In January of 2008, North Carolina became the first state to mandate that bars must recycle glass containers.

18. Making glass is like following a simple recipe of ingredients. The first 3 ingredients are in all glass: sand, soda ash and limestone, the fourth ingredient is the addition of chemicals to give glass their color.

19. Recycled glass conserves raw materials: one ton of recycled glass saves 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash and 380 pounds of limestone

20. September is’ Recycle Glass Month.’

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