Glass is one of the world’s natural wonders, a pure product that touches on each of earth’s four elements: earth, air, water and fire. From the sand or earth used to create this product to the fiery furnace creating molten glass, from the water used to wash returnable glass bottles, to the clean air and reduced carbon emissions we conserve through recycling and reuse of returnable bottles, glass is a remarkable element in itself.
Beyond this unique packaging, it is fascinating to witness the impact glass has on our country. Once the glass has been created and used for packaging, there are many ways in which glass has a minimal impact on the environment. In fact, eight out of every 10 glass bottles and jars placed in the market annually is diverted from landfill.
Speaking at The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC)’s Annual Green Dialogues, CEO Shabeer Jhetam explained that recycling of all food and beverage glass packaging has incrementally increased to 41.1% which illustrates our continued growth and impact on sustainability in the country, “a statistic that makes me proud to lead TGRC.”
The event illustrated the widespread benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling glass. “As our influence grows, we are passionate about fulfilling the mandate of reducing glass waste in South Africa, and diverting glass products from landfills into a new product lifecycle.”
“At this year’s event, we showcased the origins and goodness of glass, the product lifecycle, glass’ ability to reduce carbon emissions and contribute positively to slowing climate change, how glass recycling saves water and can ensure cleaner oceans, and how recycling saves energy. And finally, we celebrated the continued role of glass in everyday life”
Jhetam continued by stating “I am heartened by the myriad of ways in which the glass recycling network provides income opportunities for the previously disadvantaged and look forward to growing this impact further. Underpinning every success we have celebrated in the past year and challenges we face in future is the ‘fire’ of people. None of this would be possible without the passion that each person brings to this cause. From our valued shareholders and staff, from glass artists to the retailers and restaurants that diligently recycle, and the hard-working collectors, entrepreneurs and schools that ensure that glass does not end up in South Africa’s landfills, each individual plays a vital role”.
“Together, as TGRC and along with our fellow South Africans, we work together as seamlessly as the four elements, creating a new world and a sustainable future for us all.” Jhetam concluded.