California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

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Glass Trivia and Facts

3 glass bottles

  • In 1500 B.C., Egyptians were making vases, cups, works of art and jewelry out of glass.
  • In the 1500's, the Dutch developed ways to make custom eyeglasses as well as lenses which led to the first microscopes and telescopes.
  • The first glass factory in America was built by Dutch settlers in 1608.
  • In 1903, the first fully automated glass bottle making machine was used in Toledo, Ohio.
  • Glass takes 1,000,000 years to decompose.
  • Glass never wears out-it can be recycled forever.
  • Glass recycling saves resources-each ton of recycled glass replaces 1.2 tons of raw material (sand, limestone and soda ash).
  • Glass: a transparent inorganic material produced by combining silica sand with burnt lime or limestone and soda ash.
  • Silica sand: a pure form of silicon dioxide that is the most common ingredient in glass manufacturing.
  • Soda ash: also known as sodium oxide, this is an ingredient in glass manufacturing. It helps sand melt at a lower temperature.
  • Cullet: ground or crushed glass.
  • Glasphalt: similar to asphalt, but it contains ground glass instead of gravel.
  • Limestone: a type of rock that is blended with soda ash in glass manufacturing to stabilize the glass so it will not dissolve in water.

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Last updated: January 1, 2010
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