Joanita Wibowo


Why not all glass can be recycled

Why not all glass can be recycled

When it comes to recycling, glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled over and over again.

However, this does not mean that all glass can be put in the recycling bin. In fact, most experts say only jars and bottles should be thrown in as recyclables.

This means other glass items in the house might be better off going to the trash.

“Microwave turntables, ovenware, crystal glass, mirrors and light bulbs can't be recycled,” said Craig Mynott, from glass recycling plant O-I Asia Pacific in an interview with the ABC. “We prefer if people don't put them in the recycling bin.”

This is because different kinds of glass go through different types of manufacturing processes. According to the Glass Packaging Institute, while glass containers for food and beverages are 100 per cent recyclable, the same cannot be said for other kinds of glass, such as windows, ceramics, Pyrex and crystal. These kinds of glass may contain products that cannot be reused.

Furthermore, other glass types are often more fragile as they are designed to be transparent or heat resistant.

That is why, the GPI said, adding these materials in the recycling process may cause production problems and defective results.

So, what should you do with glass products that you want to dispose of? For lightbulbs, check with your local council to see if they have a recycling program. Otherwise, for incandescent and halogen globes, you can simply wrap them in paper and put them in the waste bin.

Some organisations also accept specific products. Lions Clubs will take your unwanted glasses and sunglasses, while Reverse Garbage goes for windows and containers.

When all else fails, selling or donating glass products is a good idea. You can also get creative and repurpose the glass products – for example, using old drinking glasses as a plant pot.

How do you recycle your glass items? Share with us in the comments.