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Glass is 100% recyclable, and can be recycled endlessly without degrading. Recycling glass is also more energy efficient and uses fewer resources than creating new glass. While a glass bottle in a landfill can take up to a million years to decompose, recycled glass can return to store shelves in as little as 30 days.
By recycling glass and using recycled glass, millions of pounds of waste are prevented from entering landfills. Recycling glass and buying recycled glass products makes good sense. Yet the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only about a third of glass containers in the United States are recycled.
With our roundup of the best recycled drinking glasses as a guide, you can be part of the efficient and waste-saving cycle that makes glass such a useful and reusable material.
Hawkins New York hand-blown Moroccan glassware (see Food52) is our first choice, both for the multiple size options and the matching pitcher available. Their slight curvature and blue tint strike the right balance between design and simplicity. The Original Recycled Glass of Punts de Vin (see on Amazon) is a great budget option, with a creative, eco-friendly approach to manufacturing that reuses wine bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills.
What to look for in recycled drinking glasses
Arts and crafts
Glassware made by glassblower artisans won’t hesitate to know where it came from, so look for the country of origin and simple manufacturing details on the product page.
Hand-blown glass just isn’t as uniform as machine-made glasses, but these subtle differences between each drinking glass add character, imbuing them with soft curves and warmth. If a product page warns of slight imperfections and dimensional variations, odds are your new drinking glass is the product of individual care and craftsmanship.
Fair trade policies
Retailers are generally proud to partner with fair trade artisans, so they often advertise whether their glassmakers are working under fair working conditions. Look for glassware that Fairtrade certified or manufactured by worker cooperatives.
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