Glass bottles, like any other kind of waste or trash, are usually discarded and disregarded by most people. According to the EPA, we only recycle about 31% of our glass, and glass waste makes up about 5% of the trash in landfills.
One person didn’t see that glass as waste and wanted to find ways to reuse it, turning it into small-batch home and kitchen accessories.
Danielle Ruttenberg is the co-founder, alongside Rebecca Davies and Mark Ellis, of Remark Glass, a Philadelphia-based company that takes old glass and upcycles it into something new.
Things like old wine bottles can become brand-new kitchenware like bowls, cups, or even something like a chandelier.
The process starts with them cleaning and de-labeling the bottles, cutting them to whatever proportion they need, and prepping the glass for heat. Once it’s ready they melt and reshape the glass to whatever their need is. They also try to maintain some of the characteristics of the original glass object to maintain its essence.
They use this as a tool to help address the recycling crisis and find a new use for objects that would be otherwise discarded and take up space, potentially at the bottom of the ocean.
“By creating small batch home accessories from post-consumer bottle glass, we aim to build a more sustainable artform and manufacturing practice that simultaneously reduces glass waste on a local level,” they write on their website.
They even started a sister non-profit called Bottle Underground to help address the problem further.
“Bottle Underground is committed to innovating and localizing systems for collection, recirculation, recycling, downcycling and upcycling,” they write on their website. “By maintaining a high-quality collection system, our team is dedicated to reducing waste now and making the best use of glass for our future.”
This article aligns with the UN SDG Partners of the Goals.