This is good news: South Africans are recycling glass more

August 20, 2019

While we’re all concerned about single-use plastic, and calling for more companies to go green, it seems that some of us are doing our own bit. According to Shabeer Jhetam, CEO of The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC), the glass recycling rate has increased this year by 42%.

I’m delighted by this. I’ve for years been encouraging people to recycle, and hoping that more and more people can do something themselves, rather than call on others to make changes. 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 manufacturers 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.

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. 

For more information on glass recycling, head to

Images via Shutterstock

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