Have you ever frantically pulled a glass bottle or jar from the trash? Well I have, at least a million times. In fact, I’m so obsessed with making sure that any glass that is considered waste as a result of my existence, that I feel guilty for days if an empty wine bottle doesn’t go to the recycling bin.
But it’s not only glass. Its the same for plastic, paper, tetrapak (the stuff that bloody mary mix comes in obvs), electrical goods, batteries, anything that could be recycled basically. I feel guilty about it all, sometimes in a crushing and awful way that makes me feel like the weight of the entire environment is resting on my shoulders.
Is it crazy? Probably. But I also wish that just a few more people were even a tiny bit more concerned as I am about these things. I believe we’d have less litter, less junk in landfills, and in some ways, more productivity in the world.
Wine bottles become decor at home.
When The Glass Recycling Company got in touch to challenge me (and a few other bloggers) to take up the call to recycle, I jumped on it. I have recycled since I have understood the importance, and have even educated myself on how many types of plastic there are and which ones can be recycled and which can’t, and I avoid the latter. The same has happened with glass.
Glass is an easy one in South Africa. In some countries, you have to separate out different colours, but here, we can put it all in the same bin. Bins are also available all over the place, and you’d be surprised how easy they are to find. You can find a full list of The Glass Recycling Company’s drop-off points here.
Old jars, painted inside, store things all over the place.
As a travel writer, I find glass one of the sturdiest things to carry to store certain items, including snacks, creams and other bits and pieces. And of course, a glass water bottle will help keep you hydrated and stop you from generating any more plastic bottles.
It’s not easy opting to recycle when I travel, often what it means is whatever glass container I may have taken with and emptied or used needs to be recycled, and if the hotel I’m at doesn’t have a programme for it, then I’ll look for bins nearby and in the worst cases, end up bringing the glass home with me.
Yes, I’ve carried rubbish back in my suitcase. Luckily I don’t buy too many souvenirs when I travel.
Much better in photos than a plastic bottle right?
My question is, if I’m willing to go so far to recycle my glass, is it a big ask that you recycle your wine bottles once a month? Or even better, upcycle them for home?
A few tips for recycling (and reusing) glass
- Clean out your glass if it had food or liquid in it, this stop mould from forming and makes recyclers jobs easier
- Glass is heavy, rather use a small crate to store it before you drop it off at a glass bank, you don’t want to lug a giant bin around
- Save small jars and bottles, they make for great containers when you need to decant smaller amounts of your toiletries for travel
- Any glass that was used to store food can be recycled, but drinking glasses, light bulbs and mirrors can’t be recycled through the same process (unless you know a specialist recycler)
- If you want to do more than just recycle glass, hire a company to collect it all. I love Whole Earth Recycling because I can put everything into one bin to get collected
- Large bottles such as quarts and soda bottles are returnable, they get cleaned and used again
Alessio’s ridic chilli sauce, stored in a reusable preserve jar at home.
My challenge, rather than to start recycling, is to try and convince others too. Sorry friends, but I’m not going to keep quiet about it anymore, I’d rather be the weirdo who smuggles the bottles out of your house in my handbag to recycle them, than watch them go into landfill…
This post is sponsored by The Glass Recycling Company. As with all of my posts, the words are my own.