Once it's made, a glass container can be reused repeatedly. A glass container is also infinitely 100 per cent recyclable.
The guest speaker at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre's annual general meeting last month knows about glass.
Penny Garland is the regional cullet manager, government affairs, O-I Asia Pacific, New Zealand, previously known as ACI Glass and Alex Harvey Industries.
The manufacturing plant is in Penrose, Auckland. The O-I plant produces 85,000 bottles per hour in a 24-hour per day operation every day of the year.
Penny's job includes procuring glass from communities so it can be recycled. If the glass can be colour separated, it is worth more. The WRRC collection is of a high standard, being separated into amber, flint (clear) and green.
Glass collected at WRRC is broken in separate bays on site. Children on guided tours enjoy watching the glass waterfall, as it is called by Sustainable Whanganui volunteers.
What a fascinating speech Penny gave. She also told us she likes living in Whanganui.
I learned some things about recycled glass. First, the dent in the base of a wine bottle is a punt. Waiters are supposed to hold the wine bottle with their thumb in the punt.
Second, the components of glass are silica sand, soda ash and limestone. The sand is imported from Australia and the soda ash comes from the United States. Limestone is sourced in Te Kauwhata.
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Third, wine bottles that have been remanufactured show the label O-I A (for Asia) 05 at the base. Fourth, the verb "beneficiate" is used in this industry. Beneficiated glass has been treated to improve its qualities.
Of course, as soon as I got home, I checked the wine bottle in my fridge. Sure enough, the markings were there.