Glass Facts

Image of glass items to send to ECR or put in blue bag

Glass Facts:

  • Glass containers are 64% clear, 23% brown, and 13% green.
  • 41 billion glass containers were produced in the U.S. in 1992.
  • All glass food and beverage containers can be recycled.
  • Recycling a glass jar saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
  • All newly purchased glass food jars contain at least 35% recycled glass.
  • In 1994, approximately 13.3 million tons of glass waste was generated in the U.S. Food and beverage containers made up 91% of this amount: the remainder came from products like cookware and glassware, home furnishings, and plate glass.
  • Glass constituted 6.3% of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream in 1994.
  • About 25.8% of all glass food and beverage containers were recycled in 1994. Glass had an overall recovery rate of 23.4% that same year.
  • Most of the glass recovered in the U.S. is used in new glass containers. A portion is also used in fiberglass and "glasphalt" for highway construction.
  • Approximately 8 out of 10 households recycle, and those that do 82% recycle glass bottles and jars
  • 80% of recovered glass containers are made into new glass bottles. A glass container can go from a recycling bin to a store as little as 30 days.
  • Energy cost drop about 2-3% for every 10% of cullet (recycled broken or waste glass) used in the manufacturing process.
  • 39% of beer and soft drink bottles were recovered recycling in 2009
  • For every 6 tons of recycled glass, one ton of carbon dioxide creation is avoided.
  • Bottles and jars made from glass are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss of quality.
  • The use of recycled glass is more environmentally friendly than new glass. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to a light a 100 watt light bulb for four hours, or power a television for 20 minutes.

Content on this page provided by Second Time Around - EPA Region 5 and Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Purdue University and