A lot of people don’t see glass as being environmentally friendly–particularly when dealing with bits of broken glass which can potentially be damaging or dangerous to somebody. Instead, a lot of people opt for plastics as opposed to glass because it is more lightweight, less bulky, and able to easily be crushed to conserve space and recycle. However, even recycling plastic causes a significant amount of petroleum, making glass a much more earth-friendly option than the standard plastic bottles we see everywhere.
Glass is something that can be infinitely recycled. It can be re-used in its whole state (whether it is a glass mason jar for food storage, glass bowls, or even drinking glasses) AND it can be recycled to be made into something else out of glass–all while using far less petroleum than its plastic counterpart. Thanks to advances in science and technology and its promotion by a glass firm in Sydney, Australia, it is also frequently used as an energy-saving component in homes, cars, and everyday life. In fact, where glass used to be considered an energy vampire (consider drafty old windows in winter months and greenhouse effects in the summer months), they are now created in ways that make them energy efficient AND recyclable when they have exceeded their life-spans.
While Australia still has some work to do in order to be considered a leader in glass recycling, the fact that two out of eight states and territories offers refund on returned bottles is a testament to its commitment to being kinder to Mother Earth. Of course, there is still a long way to go, but a quarter of the states and territories is a start. By encouraging the use of glass more regularly, awareness can be raised about the benefits of recycling it, and hopefully before too long we can eliminate much of the plastic waste that is being cast into our environment.