Glass is 100% recyclable, and it is recycled and converted into new glass. It does not lose quality like plastic or paper over time. The glass is crushed, melted in the presence of sand, limestone, and some other natural materials, and the same quality products are obtained as before.
Similarly, while talking about the ocean problems, such as trash, pollution, fishing resources' overexploitation, and unsustainable aquaculture, glass proves to be useful because it is non-toxic and made of natural materials, not containing Bisphenol A or other chemical additives.
Conversely, if we look at the other side of the picture, it shows that there are still some problems with the glass. For example, the production process of glass uses more energy and has more emissions than plastic, and fossil fuels are required to operate the furnaces, knowing that the melting point of the glass is 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. That is more than double the heat required for plastic or aluminum. And remember, more energy and emissions mean more carbon footprint.
In the same way, when we throw away the glass, it ends up in a landfill (again, not getting into specifics of how recycling programs can improve but factually most glass end up in a landfill), where it is either burned or buried. Also, the glass recycling industry in the United States is broken with varying local laws from state to state, and states are reducing recycling plans.
Glass is heavy and delicate in comparison to plastic, having lower impact resistance. It increases transportation costs and may require some extra layers of packaging in glass packaging. However, if we look at it from another perspective that the glass lasts longer, the costs can be compensated.
Weighing the positives and negatives of glass and whether to move forward should be determined by each company. Companies should determine what their dedication to sustainability and whether they want to move forward with glass or look at other sustainable options. Let YICAI educate you on the various materials to select the right ones to meet your sustainability needs as well as your brand requirements.