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Re: [greenyes] more thoughts on glass

Dear Gretchen ...

well said! If we take into account your points, toxicity and renewability 
issues, as well as life cycle energy, water and emissions analyses, I 
am willing to bet that glass wins hands down - it is in the interests of 
wasters to pooh pooh the very valid points made recently, including 
yours - it is, as is almost always the case, the chasing of profit at the 
expense of external and inter-generational costs that actually do the 
harm, not, as you so clearly point out, the poor glass manufacturers, 
who are battling ignornt governments and compliant consumers...

thank you again....

kind regards


On 18 Apr 2003 at 8:17, EarthGB@no.address wrote:

> Dear All,
>   Some other thoughts in defense of glass containers (& by extension,
>   finding 
> better ways to keep glass in recycling programs):
> 1.  Someone in this discussion said sand is unlimited resource, hence
> what's the point of recycling glass.  Actually, very precise types of
> sand are used for glass-making.  I don't have the science or
> references I can cite, simply recall when visiting the last extant
> "sandwich" glass mfgr on Cape Cod that had been making decorative
> glass, plates, bowls, etc, for several centuries, that company history
> said they started in a NJ location where sand was plentiful, then had
> to move to New England to get right kind of sand.  Heard the same
> (specific type of sand required) when touring Owens-Illinois glass
> plant years ago (before it was conglomerated with whoever owns Owens
> now).
> 2.  In cases where the right type of sand is available, there are
> significant other environmental impacts from sand mining.  For
> instance, here in San Diego the San Luis Rey River watershed, riparian
> (river) habitat, and living critturs in this ecosystem are severely
> degraded/threatened as a result of sand mining causing silting up of
> the river.  This is an important consideration anywhere that water is
> a scarce commodity.
> 3.  How is it that not recycling an item back into the very same thing
> it was before (AKA "closed-loop" recycling) is NOT recycling?  Say
> your glass bottle makes it to the recycling plant & is made into
> another glass bottle.  Absent a redemption/washing/refillable
> scenario, the odds of that same bottle making the loop another time to
> again be a bottle are quite low, given all the breakage problems
> already mentioned.  Thus, the recycled glass bottle stays out of the
> "waste" stream only a short while, then still ends up as landfilled
> residue.
>     In contrast, glass aggregate, or decorative landscaping with glass
> gravel, or the like, takes the glass into a new, longterm use.  It's
> out of the "waste" stream a long time, possibly indefinitely.  The
> economics may not be there depending on local markets for aggregate or
> whatever, but longterm reuse/diversion, tho not "closed-loop",
> deserves better evaluation from a wider perspective.
> 4.  It is misguided to blame glass container manufacturers for the
> loss first of the refillables/washing/redemption systems, and now for
> the rapidly shrinking number of products you can buy in "disposable"
> glass containers.  Glass mfgrs have been slammed by aluminum can, then
> plastic bottle competition.
>     Reynolds introduced the 1st aluminum beverage can in 1977 WITH a
> redemption (buy-back) program.  This was to counter expected
> resistance of consumers accustomed to deposit, refillable glass btls. 
> Consumers bought the cans, other aluminum companies jumped in, and
> there went a big chunk of glass companies' market share.
>     Plastic bottles came next, once consumers had been conditioned to
>     be more 
> accepting of disposables (thru advertising, planned obsolescence,
> pushing of convenience, instant gratification, etc).  Again, consumers
> bought the competing container and glass took a big hit.  In the early
> 80's glass mfgrs began to hedge their bets by offering plastic bottles
> as well as glass.  They had to stay in the beverage container market
> somehow.
> 5.  Consumer product brand-name holders (Coke, Pepsi, Seven-Up, etc)
> are the ones who call the shots on which packages will hold their
> products.  If consumers don't squawk, if they buy Al or plastic, then
> glass mfgrs can hardly turn the tide.  In the 80's glass companies DID
> do costly R&D & opened beneficiation plants (to remove metal lids,
> ceramics, labels, etc, even color sort [I think]), & they aggressively
> competed for glass to be recycled, offering good prices, shipping
> subsidies, etc.  But by then, the consumer momentum against them was
> too great.
>     That they cannot again invest hugely in developing glass recycling
> solutions (to solve our recycling collection problems) is because
> glass container market share is now so small it's not enough to
> support aggressive outreach for getting glass back.  Look hard in the
> grocery store & see how few are the products you can buy in glass.
> 6.  The other major factor against glass mfgrs is the nature of our
> shipping/distribution system.  Local and regional beverage production
> & container filling operations of old (which worked fine with
> refillable deposit glass btls) have been displaced by national, long
> distance systems.  Not so when product is shipped from one coast to
> the other, or further.
>     Indeed, with globalization, we can now have a Coke or Pepsi
>     anywhere on 
> the planet.  (Like I've been wondering if our troops are leaving a
> trail of Al cans & plastic bottles littering Iraq; is someone there
> recycling these U.S. or European products?)
>     I could go why is it we feel money spent for recycling
>     is a 
> subsidy while money spent for wasting is a necessary service fee? 
> Maybe it's time we turned some of these ideas on their heads. 
> Rearrange the "waste" management budgets.  Rethink whether it makes
> sense if each household originally had 1 90 gal. cart for garbage,
> that when recycling collection is added they must now have 2 90 gal.
> carts.  It's the same amount of discards, just set out a different
> way.
>     Heard this yesterday:  "The lesson that history teaches is that
>     people 
> don't learn the lessons of history."
> Respectfully,
> Gretchen Brewer
> Earth Circle
> San Diego           
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