First, GLASS is the most, INFINITELY, recyclable commodity, and yes, it is a commodity (cullet) traded on the commodities market. IT HAS VALUE, it just really doesn’t have A LOT of value, because GLASS, IS SAND (silica) which is a mineral that is used in a vast array of products such as terrazzo counter-tops, beer bottles, concrete, roadways, lamps, and jars.
It is OK for Counties not to recycle glass because unlike plastic it breaks down and turns back into sand with very little effort and no adverse environmental effects. But the notion that glass IS recyclable, it is, and unlike the #1-#6 plastic that glass has been replaced by, glass doesn’t loose any properties or value as it gets recycled over and over again. The very opposite happens to plastic, it gets more and more LESS valuable as it gets recycled and ultimately gets landfilled and unlike glass , as you very well know, plastic does not break down into its original petroleum form, as for glass, it does break back into silica. Now, about recycling it…. Glass is sand, it is very heavy it is hard to ship and easy to find in most every place, not just the beach therefore it has little value in the market, but cullet saves over 25% energy when its already melted.
I recently toured the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, TN, and the tour guide Brandi, was so amazingly knowledgeable. When we went to the Angel’s Share Tasting Room she fantastically told us that the tasting cups (#1 PET), were to go in the recycling bin, and the frosted (#2 Polypropylene), get trashed because they are not recyclable. I spoke to her about the sustainability efforts that Jack Daniels was pursuing, she said that they use the plastic cups because they don’t have enough room in the back-prep area to wash all those shot glasses. But they give a plastic bag and a rocks GLASS as a souvenir.
As I write this, I recommend to Jack Daniels’, Buffalo Trace and any amazing distillery that has barely changed the way they produce their delicious product to use the souvenir GLASS as the water cup, and either drink or pour the water out and take it with the tourist in a PAPER bag, with a sheet of tissue paper, or newspaper, or something other than a plastic bag.
As far as the shot glasses for tastings go, I would love them to go back to the original shot GLASS and have them all prepped for as many tours they do daily, on something like baking racks in their back prep space, rather than continue to use plastic, use GLASS and if people don’t take them as souvenirs themselves, throw them away!
I would rather see glass land-filled than any company of that size go through plastic as much as they do. GLASS is glass is glass and then it breaks down to sand, so land-filling or recycling, there is no threat to our environment. Let’s go back to the use of glass and we would start to see a shift in pollution in our most valuable resource, WATER (or in Jack Daniel and Nearest Green’s case, Cave Spring Hollow).