Glass recycling cuts carbon emissions by 370,000 tonnes

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - Page 3

The annual amount of carbon reduction as a result of recycling glass containers in Taiwan is about 1,000 times the carbon dioxide absorption of Taipei’s Daan Forest Park (大安森林公園), the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday.

Recycling a 600ml glass container (about 480g) emits about 0.4kg of carbon less than making a new glass bottle from raw materials, the EPA’s research showed.

Cheng Chu-shou (鄭祖壽), deputy executive secretary at the EPA’s Recycling Fund Management Board, said the total amount of waste glass containers recycled in Taiwan last year came to about 220,000 tonnes.

If they were all recycled and made into glass bottles, carbon emissions could be reduced by about 370,000 tonnes.

“The carbon dioxide absorption of the 26-hectare Daan Forest Park is about 370 tonnes each year,” he said. “So recycling waste glass containers reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about the amount of carbon dioxide 1,000 Daan Forest Parks can absorb.”

Since 2011, the administration has also surveyed the carbon footprints of other materials, including aluminum, paper, Tetra Pak cartons, polypropylene and polyethylene, to understand the carbon emissions from waste treatment, recycling and remaking into new products.

He said that recycling products made with these materials can result in a reduction of carbon emissions by between 47 percent and 85 percent, showing that the carbon reduction from recycling is “quite remarkable.”

Therefore, the EPA has reminded the public that recycling waste containers and purchasing products made with recycled materials can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a sustainable material circulation.