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The Eco Series: Glass Bottles

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You may have seen our still and sparkling glass bottled water range in restaurants such as Hawksmoor or Dishoom lately. The beautiful art deco bottle is inspired by our partnership with Hawksmoor, and looks great in both restaurants and bars alike.

Glass bottles have been produced for thousands of years; the first are thought to have been made in 1500BC in Mesopotamia with traditional glassblowing techniques*. Yet today, in the midst of a climate change crisis (and with food and drinks packaging becoming a particular focus for both retailers and consumers) more people are turning back to packaging formats like glass to avoid single-use plastic bottles for their on-the-go drinks purchases. So this next instalment of our blog ‘eco-series’ focuses on the facts, figures, pros and cons of everything glass.

One Water ‘Butterfly Bottles’

Made from 35% recycled glass (saving energy and raw materials), our Butterfly bottles are a zero plastic alternative to single-use bottles. Virgin glass is made from natural and renewable materials such as sand, soda ash and limestone, which means that the production process does not remove finite materials from the ground. Glass bottles…

are 100% recyclable

are made using natural materials

are widely collected for recycling (accepted by 99% of UK councils)

✅are inert and less likely to be harmful to the environment 

are reusable (up to 30 times)

🔴have a higher carbon footprint than other packaging formats

🔴are heavier and therefore less convenient for on-the-go

🔴have obvious health and safety issues if broken

🔴have a lengthy decomposition rate (it can take millions of years for a glass bottle to decompose in landfill)

How to recycle a glass bottle

Step 1: Recycling

This is where we need your help. Simply pop the lid back on your glass bottle (this will be separated from the glass during the recycling process) and deposit in your home recycling bin or at a local collection bank. You can check here to see if your local authority accepts glass in your kerbside recycling.

Step 2: Sorting and Cullet

Once glass bottles and jars have been collected, they are taken to glass treatment plants. Non-glass items (such as the caps on the bottles) are removed and recycled elsewhere using magnets and suction. The glass is then sorted into colours by lasers, washed to remove impurities and broken down into small fragments called cullet.

Step 3: Melting and Moulding

The cullet is melted in a furnace at over 1500°C to create liquid glass. This liquid is then divided into gobs which can be blown or pressed into new glass products, such as bottles and jars.

For more information about the journey of a glass bottle into the recycling system, you can watch this fantastic video from RecycleNow:

There are still improvements to be made…

🚚We continue to look for ways to lightweight glass in order to reduce our carbon impact. Glass is heavy, so the emissions produced in transportation of glass bottles and jars is higher than other packaging formats.

♻️Only 60% of glass consumed in the UK is actually recycled. We can all be doing more to increase this number – so do make a conscious effort to recycle your glass products.

🗑️Each council has different coloured recycling bins and systems for recycling, which can make the recycling message really difficult. This is currently something that DEFRA have been consulting on – more on that here if you missed it in our last blog.

It’s important to remember that weight is one of the big challenges with glass bottles – both for transporting in bulk on lorries and whilst in your handbag or rucksack. Sometimes PET (plastic), cartons or cans may be a preferable on-the-go packaging choice.

Stay tuned for our next instalment in our eco-series, where we will be discussing all things plastic (or PET)!

*Source: bottlestore.com.

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