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Is there a limit to the number of times a glass bottle can be recycled? Yes and no. Most glass bottles can be recycled over and over without a loss in quality or purity. The ingredients are typically sand, soda ash and limestone -- the recycling industry calls this furnace-ready glass "cullet" -- and the bottles are heated to about 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and molded into whatever shape is needed.
But a lot more recycling can be done, since only about 40% of beer and soft drink bottles are taken to recyclers each year. The numbers are even lower for wine and liquor bottles (only about 34% are returned) and other food-related bottles and jars (just about a 15% return rate). Other kinds of glass -- windows, ovenware, crystal, etc. -- cannot be added to the recycling mix because they will produce defective containers.
More on glass recycling:
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