In 2013, 34% of all glass containers made were recycled, according to the EPA and reported by the GPI. Beer and soft drink glass bottles did a bit better at 41%. Although somewhat controversial, container deposit laws seem to work. On its website, GPI says, “States with container deposit legislation have an average glass container recycling rate of just over 63%, while non-deposit states only reach about 24%, according to the Container Recycling Institute.”
The economics are favorable, partly because the industry has a ready market for the recycled material in closed-loop fashion. On its website, GPI cites, “An estimated 80% of all glass containers recovered for recycling are remelted in furnaces, and used in the manufacture of new glass containers.”
The demand for recycled material hasn’t been fully realized though. GPI and its members have an initiative to increase the amount of recycled content from 33% to 50%.
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