Recycled glass is no longer just for bottle makers and manufacturers – designers too are starting to realize the style potential of repurposed glass. One of the hottest trends sweeping the world of interiors at the moment is the rustic or vintage chic look. And with repurposing bottles and old glassware both environmentally and cost-friendly, it can be an ideal way to achieve the look you want.
Recycling glass is more energy efficient than the manufacturing processes involved in creating new glass, and trends in interior design are favourable to those that want to repurpose their old glass bottles. A vase or a candlestick holder is perhaps the easiest way of making use of your old glassware, but it can also be possible to get more creative with the applications and design of your glass.
Bottles, glasses and other pre-fashioned pieces can be used throughout the home. The bowl of pot pourri. The glass of flowers on the mantelpiece. Whatever the nature of the usage, old glass can be used to give your room more character and accentuate certain design features of the interiors on show.
But aside from being a stylish way to repurpose household items, recycling glass can also have more practical advantages. Glassphalt, for example, is the name given to grains of glass added to asphalt to increase grip for aircraft, cars and other vehicles. Paving stones and garden irrigation systems can also be crafted from recycled glass in a lower energy format than new manufacturing processes.
In construction and design applications, some more adventurous examples of repurposing glass are starting to appear, including the beer bottle temple in Sisaket, Thailand, inspiring others to get creative with glass recycling. With a wide range of practical uses for recycled glass now in reach, there are functional as well as moral reasons to ensure you recycle.
Refresh Glass, which works to recycle and repurpose glassware, suggested that bottles in particular can be put to good use for achieving a stylized interior look. From candlestick holders to vases and even clocks, glass bottles are extremely versatile. Experimenting with different uses and functions, recycled bottles like Refresh Glass can complement a variety of interior themes and feels.
Recycling glass is, at present, the most environmentally-friendly way to repurpose glass bottles, vases and flagons. Crushing glass in particular for construction and harder-wearing applications means it can be put to more robust use without large energy or environmental demands.
According to Rowena Gonzales of Liquid Interiors, a design house that specializes in sustainability, crushing glass remains one of the most environmentally effective ways to use glass products, both for home and outdoor applications.
“Until [we have] a cleaner and renewable way of creating energy, crushing glass for construction materials is the most economical way of using it. If recycled glass mosaic tiles, terrazzo flooring, countertops and even new windows, glass panels and doors were made from 100 per cent recycled glass…I am positive designers and clients would use it.”