Next time you take a sip from your cold bottle of beer at one of the summer’s games and festivals, take a moment to think about what is going to happen to it once the booze has run out. Chances are for most bottles to end up in a landfill, the harsh reality of 70% of all glass bottles and jars in the UK. Considering that the energy saved by recycling one bottle would power a computer for 25 minutes, it is worth thinking twice about the fates of your glass recyclables.
Since the introduction of the Recycle from Home kerbside collection scheme the amount of glass being recycled in Merton has increased by over 50%. This has been achieved thanks to borough residents using their recycling boxes. However, since less than every third bottle or jar is currently being recycled, there is more than room for improvement! Considering that about 12,000 bottles of champagne will be consumed during the Wimbledon Championships, this means that over 8,000 empty bottles could be sent to a landfill over the fortnight, unless more is recycled!
So what actually happens to the glass that you place in your green box and the recycling banks? Mixed glass collected from the green boxes of the kerbside collections is transported to Midland Glass processing company where it is crushed and cleaned of contamination, such as paper labels. The mixed glass is then used as an aggregate in road building and construction.
So next time you take a sip of wine or beer, perhaps while enjoying one of the Wimbledon or England matches, spare a thought (if only in the ad-breaks!) for the glass – its future lies in your hands!