Is Glass Greener than Plastic?
Glass is considered a ‘greener’ alternative to plastic, but its production, distribution, and recycling are all far more polluting. In fact, glass use over that of plastic would have numerous detrimental environmental implications.
– Plastic has a much lower melting temperature than glass of at least 1000°C
– The weight of glass which can be up to 40x that of the same volume of plastic
– Plastics actually pose up to an 80% better environmental cost indicator than glass
Thus, glass is actually responsible for significantly higher energy/fossil fuel consumption and pollutant production.
As a result, LabCycle instead takes used PP, HDPE, and PS plastic lab consumables from labs and recycles them, forming a closed loop of plastic consumption. A switch to purely glass consumables (even from recycled materials) would be significantly less environmentally-friendly than taking the plastic consumables already in labs and entering these into a circular economy.