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Glass half full: a third of us don’t know glass can be recycled

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Georgina Wilson-Powell

16 October 2017

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You might have to read that a second time. Yup, in a Europe wide study, only 66% of Brits know that glass can be reused again and again. Remarkably, that figure drops to 50% when we’re talking about the under 29s.

While 96.4% of us say we recycle in general, 77% of older people think glass is the most eco-friendly option but that drops to 31.4% amongst millennials. With more and more biodegradable packaging coming through that’s understandable, but glass needs less CO2 to be recycled and cuts down on landfill.

To combat these stats, and to encourage more glass recycling, Friends of Glass pulled in rapper, actor and comedian Doc Brown to prank customers in a video that’s gone viral. As part of the Endless Chorus campaign, Brown is joined by the Bottle Boys, as a speaking wine bottle that serenades bar drinkers about its recycling reincarnations.

Have you seen Doc Brown pranking drinkers in a wine bar?

Friends of Glass

“Ultimately, we want people to appreciate that absolutely all glass packaging is a precious resource that you can recycle time and time again, and in doing so you’ll help reduce CO2 emissions, save energy and cut down on landfill,” says Brook Hayes from Friends of Glass.

Compared to the 10 other European countries surveyed about their glass use, Britain sits mid-table. In Switzerland nearly 99.6% of people recycle glass while Germany, France and Spain are all top of the league.

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Friends Of Glass recycling survey

Britain sits mid-way up the survey table about recycling habits of European countries


Friends of Glass

Friends Of Glass recycling survey

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Britain sits mid-way up the survey table about recycling habits of European countries


Friends of Glass

So let’s be clear - why should glass be the top of pops?

  • Glass can not only be reused and recycled for longer than you or I will live, but it’s inert and doesn’t need any extra chemical layers to protect food and drink.
  • It takes less energy to melt recycled glass than virgin raw materials on their own, so recycling glass uses less fuel than making new glass from scratch. 
  • 60% of us worry about harmful chemicals leaching into our food from plastics, there’s nothing to worry about with glass.
  • You don’t need to scrub used jars or separate the lids, just a quick rinse and into the recycling bin.

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Friends of Glass

Friends of Glass started in 2008 as an awareness campaign for glass packaging. It was created by FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation, an international not-for-profit association. Friends of Glass unites a community of people from different countries in Europe and beyond who are convinced that glass is an ideal packaging material because of its unique environmental, economic and family-friendly benefits.

Click here to find out more about Friends of Glass

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