Today, people have become more environmentally conscious. It has led to increased campaigns against the destruction of the environment through over-exploitation of resources and pollution. As such, there have been numerous efforts to try and reduce the waste produced by industries. Another popularly publicised campaign is the call to recycle materials such as metals, plastics and glass. Recycling offers eco-friendly solutions to some of the environmental problems that we face today.
Glass is the preferred container material for household staples today, and so there is a need to promote better waste management of this material. Glass bottles can either be reused or recycled. For example, in the case of beverage companies, they can either refill bottles or send them to recycling companies for recycling. Both reusing and recycling have different benefits depending on the purpose. In terms of reusing, the processes is very simple since it only requires collecting, cleaning and then using the glass bottles. However in the case of SA bottle recycling process such as breaking, melting, chemical treatments, annealing and forming are used making the whole process expensive. Recycling, however, offers more advantages than reusing. It is because recycled glass bottles retain their strength and durability. Even though glass is perceived to be non-biodegradable, it still deteriorates over time upon continued use. Recycling results in a new product that has the desirable properties intact. As such, one cannot differentiate between a recycled glass bottle and a new one. Also, recycling maintains the chemical composition of glass bottles which makes it more useful.
SA bottle recycling also saves energy. It is because producing glass bottles from scratch uses a lot of energy. However, recycling reduces the power spent on some of the processes involved in the production. Energy consumption is not only beneficial to the environment but also helps organisations to save on energy costs such as electricity. In addition to this, modern technologies have made the whole process of recycling very easy. This technology has enabled cost effectiveness and also made the process faster. In addition to this recycling saves landfill space which is very important in reducing pollution.
Besides glass bottles, plastic bottles are also recyclable. In general, unlike glass bottle, plastic bottles do not get recycled or reused. Studies have shown that only 12%-25% of plastic bottles get recycled. On the other hand, 88% of glass bottles get recycled. As a result, these plastics have primarily polluted our lands and even bodies of water. It is thus essential for government and institutions to enforce laws and policies that would encourage recycling of plastic bottles to reduce pollution.