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8 Products Made From Recycled Glass

Recycled Glass Bottles
It's easy to imagine plastic fibers becoming textile insulation for parkas and sleeping bags or aluminum turning into new food and beverage containers. When you think about recycled objects, however, you may have a harder time picturing how used glass is transformed into new products.

You may be surprised to learn that the glass used in the bottles and jars you'll find in your pantry or fridge is 100 percent recyclable. When you recycle glass containers, these items are typically sorted by color, cleaned, and then ground down into particles known as cullet.

Cullet can range in size from comparable to gravel to a fine powder, depending on how the recycled glass will eventually be used. Once your glass bottles and jars are turned into cullet, they can be used to manufacture a range of products, including the following eight.

1. Brand New Containers
The vast majority of your glass recyclables will end up taking a familiar shape as household bottles, jars, and other containers. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that approximately 90 percent of glass recyclables are turned right back into brand new containers.

2. Construction Materials
While you may think of glass as fragile, many of the items made with glass cullet are decidedly durable. In fact, concrete and brick are often created using recycled glass as a binder. Cullet is also used for this purpose when making ceramic building materials, like tiles.

3. Fiberglass
Fiberglass, such as the type used in residential and commercial insulation, can consist partially of recycled cullet. In fact, fiberglass made from recyclables may feature cullet of multiple sizes to produce the desired resistance to heat transfer.

4. Firearm Ammunition
When ground particularly fine, cullet can act as what's known as a frictionator. As the name suggests, frictionators create intentional friction in products where a spark is necessary to produce a particular result. One use of cullet as a frictionator is a firearm ammunition.

5. Industrial Abrasives
When you think of sanding, you may picture a handheld piece of sandpaper and an old piece of furniture. At an industrial level, however, technicians use pressurized abrasives that can be applied to surfaces at high speeds to smooth out imperfections. Cullet is used as part of sandblasting mixes for this purpose.

6. Matches
Like ammunition, matches require a spark to function. When you strike a match, the frictionator on the match head and matchbox catch and start a controlled flame. While these surfaces may look mostly smooth, some matches feature finely ground glass as the frictionator.

7. Paint
Paint consists of pigmentation in a liquid. However, paint also requires filler to have the appropriate texture and to wear properly over time. Cullet is a common filler for paint you may use on your walls and home exteriors.

8. Pool Filtration Mediums
The idea of filtering something by running it through glass may seem strange, but filtration mediums trap large particles and suspend them to keep the water in your pool clean. Glass is a sustainable choice that performs as well or better than other common filtration mediums like sand.

Sometimes recycling glass can seem like a bigger hassle than turning in paper, plastic, or aluminum due to the risk of a bottle breaking. If you hesitate before setting aside a glass bottle, just remember that every part of the container in your hand can be used to make one of the products listed above.

To learn more about how your recycling efforts affect manufacturing, industry, and the environment, talk to a recycling specialist.

To recycle your glass and other materials, trust Ranch Town Recycling Center.