How to recycle glass? It’s clear – start small!

September 18, 2017


Last year around the same time, I wrote a post on recycling glass, and this year I'm back – it is recycling month, so I've got a few more dayds to guide you to recycling glass , and tell you how easy it is. If there's one thing you can do to make a small yet significant environmental impact, that your kids can learn from too, then this is it. And it doesn't need to involve lots of time, thinking or effort.

I've mentioned a few times that I get my recyclables collected ever two weeks from a company called EcoMonkey. Basically I shove all my recyclable paper, plastics and glass into a giant bin, and they collect – no need to sort anything. The materials are then used by manufacters to produce more of that material, for example glass.  

If you don't want to use a service that collects, it's pretty easy to do it yourself – just visit The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) to find a glass bank close to you where you can take those wine bottles and food jars every few weeks.

Reducing your waste doesn't only mean the process of recycling and sending it to a recycling depot. You can also take returnable glass bottles to a supermarket or liquor outlet when empty, for a refund. These glass containers will be sent to the beverage company where the bottles are sterilised and refilled ready to be reused several times.

You can also re-use your glass containers again and again after the glass has been used for its original purpose. A glass bottle can be used again to hold another liquid or be used as something new – for example a glass bottle can be reused as a vase or sweet jar.

Image: Shutterstock

So aside from ticking off a feel-good box and teaching your kids some great habits, let's start with why on earth (earth – get it?) you should be recycling. Here are some reasons:

– It helps the environment (less energy is needed to make new bottles and jars)

– It helps to reduce C02 emissions

– It reduces landfill usage

Image: Shutterstock

Good to know: top recycling tips

– Glass containers, bottles and jars, such as those used for food and beverages can be recycled.

– Most retailers will take back large beer bottles, certain glass colddrink bottles, and many bottles used for spirits, wines and liquor.

– In South Africa, it’s not necessary to place different coloured glass into separate banks or wash glass before placing it into glass banks.

– Glass with packaging glass can't be recycled. This includes windscreen glass, window pane glass, mirrors, light bulbs, drinking glasses and tumblers, PyrexTM or laboratory glass. 

Image: Shutterstock

For more information on glass recycling, head to


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