Recycled glass, a great eco material for fitted furniture.

Eco materials are the answer to a cleaner world.

Eco Materials are becoming more available these days as more and more of us realise the importance of becoming more sustainable.

Recycled glass is a great eco material because it is inert, so does not pollute you or the environment. It can also be recycled again and again as it just needs melting and be remolded into something new. Recycled glass is better than virgin glass because it uses much less energy to reprocess into new glass. The ultimate if we are talking about sustainability is to reuse glass and not break it up and re process it, but we still need glass for fitted furniture and many other uses so in this case it is better to use recycled glass than virgin glass.

“Straw Bottle”, a range of shelves made of straw board, and recycled glass from Bottle Alley Glass with LED light behind. Designed by Tristan Titeux

Bottle Alley Glass make a great eco material.

Alan Ashbee runs Bottle Alley Glass in Yorkshire. It is a company that take unwanted & recycled glass bottles and fuses them into beautiful, interesting glass panels suitable as worktops, splash-backs or in fitted furniture.

It looks beautiful when back-lit with LED light panels or as glass tops to protect the furniture. The recycled glass comes mainly from 2 recycling charities, one called Bottle Rescue who employ people with learning difficulties to collect bottles from pubs & clubs in the Keighley area and the other is a social enterprise called St Nicholas Fields who also employ people with learning difficulties that cycle around York doing kerbside collections. A social enterprise is a business that gives back or benefits the community.
The white and green top we have used on the Milo table is made of Newcastle Brown Ale bottles and the Green from Gordon’s Gin bottles. Alan is proud that their panels use no additives or colourings with their glass making it purer and more natural because they are not needing to add extra chemicals into the process. The glass is fused together and not set in resin which is again saving on a extra virgin material.

This “Milo” style table was made from strawboard oiled wiht a natural eco oil and the top from recycled bottle pieces fused together. Designed & photographed by Tristan Titeux

Some interesting glass recycling facts.

Recycling a glass bottle saves enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes in comparison to creating a bottle from raw materials. Every family in the UK uses on average 500 bottles of glass and jars per year.

Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.

Pubs, bars and Restaurants currently throw away 600,000 tonnes of glass every year, with most of it ending up in landfill.

The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

The UK has more than 50,000 bottle banks.

One bottle bank can hold up to 3,000 bottles before it needs to be emptied.

Here is some recycled glass information from British Glass More Glass facts and information here.

More info about glass and how it is made here.

If you are interested to find out more about eco fitted furniture, our website Eco page tells you about the Eco side of Empatika.

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