White Glass and Flint Glass: A Comparison
What Is Optiwhite Glass?
Optiwhite glass is a pure white kind of float glass. The designation “Optiwhite” is only a brand name; white glass might equally be used. This contrasts with standard float glass, which has a distinctive green tinge that’s most noticeable at the cut edge.
How is white glass made? To be sure, Optiwhite glass contains only about 1% iron oxide. In the raw, on the other hand, iron oxide displays a greenish sheen when illuminated. Due to the low iron oxide level, the green shimmer is greatly decreased. On the glass edge, just a faint blue tinge remains — even white glass is never fully colorless.
Whether you call it Optiwhite glass, clear glass or white glass, the reality is that transparent glass is an excellent choice for attractive product display. Additionally, it is helpful that the glass thickness of many goods can be adjusted freely — the concept of made-to-measure glass enables the implementation of a broad range of design ideas.
What Is Flint Glass?
Flint glass is a form of optical glass that’s very transparent and has a high refractive index. Flint glass began in the 1600s when powdered flint was added to enhance the quality of blown glass. Additionally, it’s a term used to refer to particular kinds of pressed glass dishware that was produced in England and the United States between 1820 and 1865.
In 1662, English glassmaker and industrialist George Ravenscroft invented the first real flint glass. He employed flint particles to create a highly refractive and polished sort of glass. Flint glass was the gold standard for glassmaking technique until lead was found to make a considerably better glass when added to the silica mixture. Although today it’s more correctly referred to as “lead” glass, “flint glass” is still widely used.
Flint glassware may be transparent, or translucent and opaque in any hue. Scalloped or smooth edges are available, as are patterns including flowers, birds, grape leaves, historical dates, public structures and memorial sayings. Another popular style sees geometric forms resembling cut glass crystals.
Key Statistics on Glass Recycling
- Glass bottles and jars are fully recyclable. They can be recycled indefinitely without compromising their purity or quality.
- According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 39.6% of beer and soft drink bottles were collected in 2018 for recycling. 39.8% of wine and liquor bottles, and 15% of food and other glass jars were recycled. 33.1% of all glass food and beverage containers were recycled in total.
- Each year, the container and fiberglass industries acquire 3.35 million tons of recycled glass, which is melted and reused to manufacture new containers and fiberglass goods. (Sources: Precision Consulting and NAIMA)
- Each ton of recycled glass conserves over a ton of natural resources.
- Energy costs decrease by about 2-3% for every 10% of cullet (recycled glass) utilized in the production process.
- One ton of carbon dioxide is saved for every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process.
- Beverage container deposit systems generate 11 to 38 times the number of direct jobs as curbside beverage container recycling systems. (Source: The Container Recycling Institute, Returning to Work: Assessing the Employment Impacts of Various Methods of Beverage Container Recycling).
- Around 18% of drinks are drunk on-premise at bars, restaurants and hotels. Glass accounts for almost 80% of this container mix.
- Over the last three decades, glass bottles have lost nearly 40% of their weight.
- Up to 95% of raw materials are replaced with recycled glass.
- Recycling 1,000 tons of glass results in creating at least eight jobs (Source: Container Recycling Institute)
For more information on white glass, flint glass and glass recycling visit bpsglass.com or call us in South Florida at +1 470 864 3065.
What Should You Know About Glass Bottles?
Why Choose Glass?
The advantages of glass packaging and glass bottles are clear: it’s sustainable, it’s inert, it’s 100% recyclable, reused, and refillable. It’s also safe to keep food and beverages in, and it’s attractive; customers adore it.
- Glass comes from nature
Glass is formed from naturally occurring elements present in nature. The alchemy of these constituents results in one solitary substance. No further material or chemical layers are required to finish it.
- Glass is completely recyclable
Glass is completely recyclable and may be recycled indefinitely without losing its quality or purity. Glass recycling is a closed-loop method which generates no new trash nor byproducts. Glass is one of the few recyclable materials which can be recycled endlessly without losing its quality.
- Glass containers are reusable (up to 40 years of life expectancy)
Reusing glass bottles has a net positive influence on the environment and it multiplies the sustainable worth of glass many times over. Returnable glass is an excellent option which the industry may provide in certain market scenarios.
- Glass is beneficial to consumers’ health
Because glass is essentially inert and impermeable, it is the most stable container material available. There is no chance of toxic chemicals leaching into glass-packaged food or beverages. There is also no need for extra barriers or additives; a glass bottle or jar is made entirely of glass alone.
Why Should You Recycle Glass?
Glass can be recycled indefinitely without losing its quality or purity. Glass containers returned for recycling contribute to the manufacturing of new glass bottles and jars (which may include up to 95% recycled material), as well as fiberglass. Recycling glass has significant environmental benefits as well: it conserves raw resources, reduces energy consumption, and reduces CO2 emissions (among these following advantages):
Recycling glass is beneficial to the environment
Glass bottles discarded in landfills can take up to a million years to degrade. In comparison, a recycled glass bottle takes as little as 30 days to leave your kitchen recycling bin and then emerge as a new glass container on a store shelf.
Recycling glass is a sustainable practice
Glass containers are 100% recyclable, which means they can be recycled again without compromising the glass’s purity or quality.
Recycling glass is efficient
All-new glass containers are made mostly of recovered glass from glass recycling. A typical glass container contains up to 70% recycled glass. According to industry estimates, around 80% of recycled glass ultimately becomes new glass containers.
Recycling glass helps conserve natural resources
Each ton of recycled glass saves over a ton of raw resources used to manufacture new glass, including 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash and 380 pounds of limestone.
Recycling glass conserves energy
Making new glass involves heating sand and other materials to 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, consuming a great deal of energy, and producing significant industrial pollutants including greenhouse gases. Crushing the glass into a product called “cullet” is one of the first processes in glass recycling. Because cullet melts at a significantly lower temperature than raw materials, manufacturing recycled glass goods requires 40% less energy than new glass.
Recycled glass is versatile
Since glass containers are made of natural and stable components such as sand and limestone, they have a very low rate of chemical interaction with their contents. Consequently, the glass can be securely reused in a variety of applications, including refillable water bottles. Additionally, the glass can be used to construct fences and walls. Apart from being the principal constituent in new glass containers, recycled glass has a variety of additional commercial applications, ranging from creating beautiful tiles and landscaping material to the reconstruction of antiquated beaches.
Recycling glass is easy
It’s a straightforward environmental procedure since glass is one of the most easily recycled materials. For one thing, practically all curbside recycling programs and municipal recycling facilities accept glass. Most consumers simply need to bring their recycling bin to the curb or drop off their empty glass containers at a local collection site to recycle glass bottles and jars. Occasionally, regulations dictate that various colored glasses must be separated to ensure cullet homogeneity.
Want to know more about glass packaging and recycling? Speak with your friendly experts at BPS Glass. Visit us online or call us in South Florida at +1 470 864 3065.
Why is new glass difficult to get these days?
Unfortunately, as a result of the recent worldwide pandemic, several companies and manufacturers have been forced to suspend (or significantly reduce) glass production, making it virtually impossible to satisfy current demand. Getting back on their feet after being closed (or operating at a reduced capacity for an extended time) can be exceedingly challenging, even more so if they’re not operating at full capacity, owing to health and safety regulations. And now that COVID-19 vaccinations are a key priority for both the public and health sectors, the quantity of glass committed to the cause is reducing the amount of glass available to other businesses even more. As a result, scarcity exists.
Glass shortages will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the construction sector. Already burdened by timber and labor shortages – as well as price increases over the previous 12 months – the construction sector has been hammered by the pandemic. During the shutdown period, people invested both time and money to restore or modify their houses, increasing the demand for materials. However, the industry has struggled to keep up with this decline in output and rapid growth in demand. Now, due to the difficulties in locating and obtaining new glass, the industry has been significantly harmed once again.
Not only is new glass costly to export, but it is also expensive to create, owing to the quantity of heat needed during the manufacturing process. Glass manufacturing is an energy-intensive process, accounting for 1% of total industrial energy consumption, in a study of the manufacturing sector conducted by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Natural gas accounts for the majority of this energy.
Plastic has a significantly lower melting point than glass, and as such it requires less energy to manufacture. The production of plastic containers has become even more inexpensive due to advancements in plastic molding technology. It was even cheaper to manufacture new plastic than it was to recycle it, at one time.
Advantages of glass bottle reuse
In the past, what beverage businesses were unaware of was that the habit of reusing glass bottles contributed to reducing trash in landfills. It turns out that plastic is not the better packing material in any way other than weight and break resistance. Glass bottles are more sanitary and better at retaining the contents’ taste, strength and scent – not to mention their visual appeal.
In general, there are several advantages to reverting to the tradition of packaging soft drinks in glass bottles. However, the current state of affairs is perhaps the most significant impediment to reintroducing reusable glass bottles as the industry standard.
Due to the lack of standardized glass packaging, each bottle is unique. This can complicate reuse since we must methodically select our glass bottles, in order to identify what may be recycled and where. The procedure is not clear for the customer currently, but after the pandemic finally wanes it might become more so.
To find out more about glass recycling, packaging and design, visit bpsglass.com or call us in Miami at (305) 602-5644.
How the Glass Industry Has Changed Recently
Each sector of the glass industry has its own unique characteristics and production processes, but glass melting is universal. This physical process involves raw materials, energy and state-of-the-art production facilities. It behooves glass manufacturers to have good environmental management systems and to make significant expenditures in order to stay competitive globally.
BPS Glass concentrates its efforts on these shared difficulties to exchange experience, information and best practices, in order that Florida remains a leader in glass manufacturing.
Glass is the best packaging material. People are not often aware that glass is created entirely of natural elements and can be recycled indefinitely without causing harm to the environment. As an industry, we’ve implemented various measures to reinforce this message, ranging from partnerships with local nightlife destinations to campaigns to improve people’s recycling practices. Many individuals are unaware of the impact: they deposit their glass in a bottle bank or collection bin, and that is “the end of it”. They often believe everything is automatically sorted and dealt with. Still, if every glass collection contains items that shouldn’t be there, the business quickly becomes challenging.
We must care about our planet for future generations, and if this means each of us must recycle a small amount of glass on a daily basis (and take the time to do so properly), that is not too much to ask. On the plus side, a stroll to the bottle bank is a great way to get out of the house these days!
Manufacturing facilities for container glass rely on high-temperature furnaces which must constantly operate 24 hours a day. The furnace, which cannot be switched off or idled, takes months to restart after being shut down, emphasizing the need for a fully functioning and operating supply chain. The furnace is the process’s heart and it normally functions for around 8-10 years before being replaced.
Rebuilding the facility requires a significant financial expenditure and takes around 4-5 months to implement. Furthermore, if operations are halted during campaign time, substantial damage to the furnace may ensue. The furnace operates on a constant supply of natural gas; a furnace with a daily output of 1,000 tons holds around 3,000 tons of molten glass at any one moment.
This is a key procedure which needs a continuous supply of gas and utility assistance. Additionally, the furnace’s integrity depends on its temperature profile, and any loss of firing/incorrect temperature management can irreparably harm the furnace beyond usage, resulting in the business’s collapse.
The glass sector has encountered several obstacles due to the COVID-19 epidemic, global lockdowns, and the closure of non-essential operations to comply with COVID-19 safeguards. Consumer purchases of several staple food goods surged from 10% to 60% during the COVID-19 epidemic. And demand will only rise in the coming months. Disrupting the glass container business and supply chain could have a detrimental effect on the world’s ability to acquire pharmaceutical, food, and beverage items in stores at a time when such outlets are crucial to the world’s food supply.
For more information on the critical importance of the glass industry, visit bpsglass.com or call us in South Florida at +1 470 864 3065.