The many uses of recycled glass
“Glass remains glass”: Bottles produced from used glass are of equivalent quality to those produced from first-use glass.
Some of the used glass is not, however, used to produce glass; it is sometimes exported to neighbouring countries, or recycled into building materials: shards of broken glass can be used as insulation material or to make glass sand. Research indicates that there are more than 50 processes for the recycling or recovery of glass waste. Some examples include: road surfacing, soil stabilisation, filtration, abrasion, insulation …
Non-recyclable glass is considered "dirty", for example all glass with a chemical composition different from that of packaging glass (glass vases and gratin moulds, mirrors, glass for building or fire glass, windshields ...). Drinking glasses, for example, often contain a higher proportion of lead than the standards for beverage packaging.
Light bulbs cannot be recycled together with glass, as they contain heavy metals, gases, and mercury; they must be deposited in a suitable bin. Recycling light bulbs allows the recovery of metals and glass, and saves an environmental impact equal to 4900 revolutions of the earth by car.