Glass is an amorphous material, that is, a liquid that undergoes solidification without however acquiring the ordered structure of the crystals, instead maintaining a disordered and rigid structure. Its discovery dates back to the Phoenicians who at the time understood that by combining sodium carbonate and silica sand, glass was obtained. In fact, in common parlance with glass we mean that material formed by calcium, soda and silicon which sees its application in different fields, such as the making of containers, part of the furniture (windows) or manufacture of decorative elements (objects and chandeliers).
The different uses of glass are due to its transparency, to its chemical inalterability and versatility. By adding certain elements, glasses of different colors are produced, which in collection and disposal must be separated by color. Why? Because colored glass has different chemical-physical characteristics than transparent e, during crushing, a cullet of various colors is created which cannot be used to make clear packaging glass, like transparent bottles, but only colored glass, like those green or yellow colored bottles. Therefore, monochrome collection is preferred.
Why it is important to do the separate collection of glass?
Why glass, if collected correctly, it can be reused and recycled over and over again. This reduces energy consumption and saves raw materials, since the recovered glass does not require the same melting temperatures necessary to produce it the first time. Consequently, less fuel is needed and less CO2 is released. Furthermore, the amount of waste to be treated in landfills decreases, with savings on transport and waste disposal costs.
How to do a correct separate collection?
It is good to know that only pure and clean glass is transformed into raw material for a new fusion (the scrap). Therefore, it is important to follow a few simple rules:
– separate the glass from other contaminating materials, such as metals and ceramics (wherever possible and paying attention to the rules of each municipality), for example by removing any caps and throwing them in the appropriate container;
-wash bottles and jars, even a quick rinse is enough to leave no food residues inside;
-do not peel off paper labels, those will be automatically deleted in the merge process.
This, most of the time, it depends on the fact that in some cases the collection is multi-material, that is, different materials such as plastic are collected in the same bin, aluminum and glass. In fact, when the materials are compressed to be transported, the glass is easily contaminated by other elements that are difficult to separate from each other and is no longer reusable. For this reason the optimal situation, when applicable, is the single-material collection.
What cannot be inserted into the glass?
In order not to fall into error it is useful to know "the false friends of glass", to improve the quality of what arrives at the plants and to speed up the selection, so as not to slow down the recycling process. They don't throw themselves into the glass bin: pieces of ceramic or porcelain, the bulbs, i pirex, the mirrors, TV screens and other garbage that look glass-like.
Then, be careful! Now you have no more excuses and with these simple indications everyone can make a real contribution to reducing environmental pollution.