Currently, glass does not contain any harmful contaminants such as BPA, phthalate, PVC, or polycarbonate (My Own Bottle LLC, 2010). It is better for the environment to use because it is both recyclable and reusable. The only thing that I can think off of the top of my head is to somehow manufacture glass so that it can break down by itself into the earth if tossed into a landfill, but I don’t think that is chemically possible.
Glass could be made more environmentally friendly by making some changes to the way that it is processed. Glass production impacts the environment negatively by creating air pollution, producing wastewater, producing solid waste, and using a lot of energy in general. Glass production creates emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides and also causes emissions of particulate matter that may contain metals. The IFC’s Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines recommend storing materials in enclosed silos, using fuel with a low sulfur content, and humidifying the production site to reduce particle emissions among other practices. The document below has many other suggested improvements.
(The first link is a PDF, the second a quick view)
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