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Recycling Glass Food & Beverage Containers

There are many compelling reasons to make sure you recycle your glass food and beverage containers. Glass containers are 100% recyclable. There is no loss of quality over time, no matter how many times food and beverage container glass goes through the recycling process. For every ton of glass that gets recycled, over a ton of natural resources are saved. Not only that, but a recycled glass container can be made from up to 95% recycled glass.

Even though a lot of our food and beverage containers are now made out of plastic, there are some notable exceptions. Beer, of course, can be purchased in glass bottles. We wouldn’t dream of buying a plastic bottle of wine! Liquor can come packaged in plastic, but the good stuff is always bottled in glass. And of course things like pickles, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar are often packaged in glass containers.

According to the EPA, only about 34% of glass food and beverage containers are recovered for recycling. Beer bottles have the highest recovery rate, with 41% of these bottles being recycled. Less than 35% of wine and liquor bottles are being recycled. Perhaps most surprisingly, only 15% of glass jars, such as pickle jars, are being recycled. That’s a lot of glass containers going to the landfill.

The good news is that glass food and beverage containers can be included with your single-sort recycling!

When you recycle glass food and beverage containers, you don’t have to worry about scraping the labels off. There are machines that clean the glass. They even sort the glass by color, so you don’t have to! Whether you have brown, green, clear, or blue glass bottles and jars, they can all go in the recycling bin.

Bar and restaurant owners are in a particularly good position to divert a lot of glass bottles and jars for recycling. BizRecycling’s Recycling Experts can help you optimize and streamline recycling collection, and a BizRecycling grant can help pay for needed bins, equipment, and staff training. It’s easy to do your part to keep these great resources in circulation!

Learn more about glass recycling by watching this short video.

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