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Not only are glass bottles versatile, but their many shapes, styles, ages, and amazing colors are “art” to be appreciated. Sometimes we just like to look at the bottles, whether empty or filled with a wide variety of items or gorgeously painted or with jewels or embellishments, as part of our home’s décor.
However, those bottles can be a practical part of our daily lives when they are used to contain fresh cut flowers, candles, liquids that have been opened but we don’t want them to spoil, as holders of perfumes and oils, and even as pretty containers for wine.
Some of the popular colors that you can find are Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Vintage Pink, Deep Orange, Light Blue, Light Green, Emerald Green, Purple, Fuchsia Pink, Amber, Cobalt Blue, and more. Some hobbyists collect a certain color and pattern as they explore thrift shops, garage and yard sales, and estate sales.
A perfume bottle collector will always be delighted with a gift of an original or skillful reproduction of a vintage and colorfully distinctive bottle, especially if it was hand cut and hand-blown into an exceptional shape and comes with a fabulously faceted stopper.
Glass is a perfect collectable because it is 100 percent recyclable and can be reprocessed many different times. That unbelievably means there is no loss in its quality or its purity.
Glass is made from readily-available materials such as sand being the greatest volume, limestone, soda ash, and “cullet,” which is the term for furnace-ready recycled glass. Cullet must be free of contaminants such as metals, stones, gravel, ceramics, etc. The materials are mixed/batched, heated to 2600 to 2800 degrees Fahrenheit, and then molded into whatever shape is decided upon.
Recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95 percent of those raw materials and is needed because the manufacturers require contaminant-free recycled container glass of the highest quality to meet the strict demands for any new glass. At plants that do glass processing, the recycled glass gets cleaned and sorted and then is resold to the glass manufacturing companies for remelting into new containers. Approximately 80 percent of recovered glass containers are remelted in the proper furnaces and remanufactured.
The more recycled glass used, the greater the decrease in energy needed in the furnace, lowers the costs, reduces emissions, and extends the life of plant equipment. It also benefits the environment because one ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled glass, and it is the equivalent to taking approximately 210,000 cars off the road every year.
Container and fiberglass industries purchase three million tons of the recycled glass every year to remelt and repurpose. More than a ton of natural resources are saved for every ton of glass that is recycled.
Color sorting is important, also. Limited is the amount of cullet with mixed colors that can be remanufactured and become new containers. Recycled glass must be separated by color to make sure that new bottles match the color standards required.