Glass Is Good

Glass is good. Certainly, but there are things that are driving us away from it. First is the immediate danger of broken pieces. They are mostly sharp. I couldn’t remember how many times I had a wounded foot because of a broken piece. Before, when there was no extensive movement for recycling. We had the habit of throwing used glass bottles and jars whenever we wanted. Breaking them on sight only to get karma later. We were so carefree that we had so many broken glass bottles near our house.

It can resist minimal impact. Slight misstep and it is broken. It is luck when the point of drop is soft, not too high or it has simply a strong makeup. The case of Pyrex brand. I prefer stainless/plastic cups and plates at home over their glass and ceramic counterparts. I don’t have to worry about sharp broken edges and replacing them often. Carefulness should be and SOP but accidents just happen. Medicines in plastic bottles are chosen by customers. Soda and fruit drinks either in PET bottles or aluminum cans. Why? Because there is a good chance it is perfectly fine upon landing.

Glass bottle is heavy when full and still heavy when empty. Logistic is expensive. The first basis is weight and then volume. If half of product weight is packaging, then logistic cost can be significantly reduced by replacing it with a low cost alternative. The likes of PET and aluminum.

Glass is actually good. We are just expert at finding flaws that we see anything as bad if there are. I found the slogan written above at the gate of glass bottle manufacturing plant. I strongly agree.

If everyone is careful and responsible enough. A jar can be refilled through infinity. It only needs thorough cleaning, sterilization and new cap. Unlike PET and other plastics which are single use. Oopps. I can be, but not as food container for sale. Glass collection and re-use involves cost of course. However, the benefits outweighs it. This is being done by softdrink giant, of which also resorted to lighter and disposable alternative. Who never know about Gin bottle? The bottle specially made for alcohol but later carries soy sauce, vinegar, cooking oil, fish sauce and sometimes non-food items like kerosene. Whatever it carries, as long as it is whole and can be cleaned out later, it is fit for reuse. Gin bottle generic design and ease of capping, the snap cap, made it very popular for liquid manufacturers and repackers. Glass is inert. It never reacts to anything. Unless subjected to its melting temperature, which is very unlikely under normal and harsh environmental conditions.

According to gpi.org, recycled bottle meant for food use can be made of up to 95% broken glasses. Wow! Reusable and highly recyclable. There is also market for broken glass of yours. Plastic as food packaging are made of virgin materials. Recycling it for the same purpose is highly discourage. Virgin materials leach out chemicals to its contents. What more if mixed.

About 80% are recycled. It breaks but never rots. Collectors and scavengers have plenty of time hunting it. There are cases where recycling is hard. That is if it is reinforced. The thing that makes window glasses more durable. It can still be downcycled as additive to patio, cement, tiles and pavement. It came from Earth in form of sand. If not fit for intended recycling, it can be brought back without detrimental effects.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.