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A simple move, a thousand benefits
There have frequently been reports on the 'amazing' attributes of glass and its use in packaging. Glass, (the preferred packaging of most food and wine industries throughout the globe) is not only considered the healthiest but also the most attractive alternative. However, one of its most important advantages pertains to its 100% recyclability , thus, environment protection.
Recycling, as the word reveals itself, is a cycle-process : it starts at selling points, reaches the consumer, who -in turn- adds a ring to the chain by positioning containers or other glass objects to the recycling bins; then containers are picked up, cleaned and color-separated, so as to be converted into cullet, which is used by glass industries for new glass packages' manufacturing. Food and Drink Industries take these packages, and after having filled them, they distribute them once more to the selling points; and so the cycle-process starts again. That procedure may happen over and over since there is no limit to the number of times glass can be recycled for.
The reasons that make Glass Recycling imperative, are numerous and have intense socio-economic and environmental interest. We always prioritise recycling environmental benefits, although the benefits derived by recycling are also economical and social.
Glass Recycling saves 46,000 tons of raw materials in Hellas. This saving reduces the amount of trash accumulated in landfills, which represent a huge cost for every town.
Energy conservation is another benefit of recycling. When cullet is used as raw material, glass melting is realized in lower temperatures, allowing for the saving of energy, (economy and environment both benefit).
Moreover, energy conservation implies cost reduction in exchange currency, since fuels are imported. Therefore, the national economy is also benefited from recycling. Recycling may help society, since it creates new job positions for the collection and transfer of containers from the bins, but also for the cleaning, separation and breakage of glass.
People's increased sensitivity in environment-protection is witnessed throughout Europe. It is worth mentioning that in Germany, there has been a tax € 0,25 for every non-returnable package. On the contrary, the penalty for every bottle is € 0,08 and in Hellas € 0,07.
Some recycling statistics in Hellas in 2002, indicate that 46,000 tons, 27% of total production, have been recycled. Up to 2005, European law commands that percentage to become 60%!!!
Besides, 80% of the 46,000 tons originates from the industry and not from the consumers. As consumers, we have to be concerned, informed, knowledgeable, caring and acting.
Our endeavours have to be intense, well-organized and above all collective. It is up to us!!
8 Steps for a qualitative recycling
1. Glass recycling begins from the moment we have empty glass bottles and jars.
2. We remove all metal or plastic caps and lids.
3. We rinse the containers.
4. We carry the glass bottles or jars to the nearest glass recycling bin.
5. We color-separate the bottles or vases, if required by the recycling bin.
6. We don't deposit other types of trash or rubbish in the recycling containers or near them.
7. We try not to perform the above procedure during night-time because the noise might disturb the residents of the area.
8. If the glass recycling bin is full, we come back at another time.