“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
Traditionally Earth Day is honoured on 22 April each year. However, this year is likely to see a ‘celebration’ of a very different nature. Albeit a time of uncertainty and worry for many as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a national lockdown, a great change has been seen in the environment during this time.
This year, as Earth Day turns 50, the theme for this milestone anniversary focuses on climate change. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) recommends ways that recycling glass bottles and jars assists in the fight against climate change:
#1 Recycling glass helps conserve our natural resources and reduces processing of raw materials
For every ton of waste glass used to manufacture new glass, an incredible 1.2 tons of natural resources is saved. Additionally, this also means that less carbon dioxide is emitted as 1.2 tonnes of virgin raw material does not need to be quarried, processed and transported prior to being converted into glass packaging. In addition, glass can be infinitely recycled without any decrease in quality of new glass packaging produced.
#2 Recycling glass assists in reducing our energy usage
One of the biggest benefits when it comes to recycling glass is the reduced use of energy. When you compare the energy used in the production of glass from raw materials to the use of recycled glass, the melting of cullet (recycled glass that is crushed and melted), you will find that the required energy is considerably less. This reduction in energy used further results in a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.
#3 Recycling glass is simply greener
When comparing the process of making glass from raw materials and the production process of recycling of glass, there is a considerable reduction in terms of the carbon dioxide emissions as well as any potential water pollution. In fact, every ton of new glass bottles and jars made using recycled glass rather than raw materials prevents the emission of a whopping 670kg of CO2. Ultimately, glass recycling dramatically lowers the release of CO2 into the atmosphere, helping to minimise one of the main contributors to climate change.
It’s important that we still live green and consider the environment, even though we are spending all our time indoors at home. During the national lockdown, be sure to store all your empty glass bottles and jars so that you can recycle them at a glass bank in your community when things start to normalise in the country.
“Earth Day 2020 should not be looked at as one day, but rather how we will be making a change to our daily lives in order to have a positive impact on our environment. An effective way of helping combat climate change, while enabling economic opportunities, is through recycling. You can play a part in preventing climate change by re-evaluating your household, or office, and identifying areas where we can reduce, reuse, or recycle,” explains Shabeer Jhetam, CEO of TGRC.
The time is now for all of us to come together and do our bit to make a difference to the environment. We can do so through recycling, in particular our glass bottles and jars. Unless we all step up, nationally and globally, realising that this is a serious crisis, we are not going to be leaving behind a healthy environment for future generations.