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Make a change: Green tip #2

Posted by Laura Grant on December 10, 2007
Posted in Green tips, Lifestyle

Don’t throw away glass containers such as bottles and jars. Glass is not biodegradable, but it is 100-percent recyclable.

The energy saving from recycling one bottle will power a 100 watt light bulb for almost an hour, a washing machine for 10 minutes, a TV for 20 minutes or a computer for 25 minutes.

The raw materials for glass – sand, soda and lime – all have to be dug from the earth. They are then melted together at 1,500ºC. This takes a lot of energy. Every ton of glass that is recycled saves 1.2 tons of raw materials and the equivalent of 136 litres of oil energy.

Only 140,000 tons, or 20 percent, of all glass containers produced annually in South Africa are retrieved for recycling. About 550,000 tons of waste glass still finds its way into our landfills.

Sources: The Glass Recycling Company and Britain’s Environment Agency

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