What Manufacturing Glass Costs Our Environment
Lets talk about what the real cost of manufacturing glass.
What is glass made out of?
There are 3 virgin components required to manufacture glass in its original form. Sand, Soda-Ash and Limestone. By using these materials we are taking a huge amount of non-renewable resources out of the ground. And although these resources are not in short supply, the mining of these components causes environmental damage - sand mining is the direct cause of erosion, limestone mining causes sinkholes and overall quarry mining uses natural resources such as coal and fuel.
How is it made?
All of these components are then heated in a furness of temperatures of 1500 degrees C which results in the combustion of natural gas/fuel oil and the decomposition of raw materials during the melting lead to the emission of CO2. This is the only greenhouse gas emitted during the production of glass.
In saying this, we are talking about 2 tonnes of CO2 released per 1 tonne of glass production.
The heating process also releases Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) which contributes to acidification and formation of SMOG, Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) contributes to acidification and evaporation from molten glass releases particles into the atmosphere.
What about recycling?
Everyone knows we can recycle glass but are you aware that you cant put window glass in the recycling bin?
Bottles and other glass items that you are allowed to put in your recycling bin have a different composition to window glass. They need different temperatures to melt down and therefore cannot be recycled together.
Most windows and doors come attached to a wooden or metal frame which has to be disassembled. This is expensive and labour intensive. Now add all the other options that you have with windows and doors such as tinting, is it safety or tempered glass? All these other elements to glass contribute to recycling these items near impossible. So where do they go? They go to landfill.
How long does glass take to decompose?
In a typical landfill, glass will take approximately 1 million years to decompose. This means every piece of glass thats been sent to landfill is STILL THERE!
What is Unscratch The Surface Doing to Help The Environment?
Unscratch The Surface restores scratched and damaged glass surfaces, eliminating your requirement to replace your glass and send them to landfill. After restoration we can also protect your glass from further damage. We are endeavouring to help the Victorian government in their goal to reach their greenhouse gas emission reduction target of net zero by 2050.