Archive for April, 2014

*Glass, a treasured material!

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I have always considered glass as a treasured material, from those early days as a child in the South Wales valleys, when I would hear the arrival of the Corona pop lorry and excitedly gather our used bottles so we could collect our deposit.  I wish deposits still existed today.  It always made so much sense.


It never occurred to me why the same deposit scheme didn’t exist for our milk deliveries.  Yet, there was still something very satisfying about putting out the empty bottles at night and collecting the full bottles ready for breakfast each morning.


As I grew older, and my attentions moved to wine, during my student days I would turn the empty bottles into candle holders, admiring the ‘waterfalls’ of droplets that the melted wax created, and recreating the ambiance of a 1980s French bistro.


These days, empty jars with pretty tealights have been added to my repertoire of makeshift candle holders.  That’s what I love about glass, so many practical reuse opportunities, before you even have to think about recycling.  With jars being used time and again for pickling, storing spare ribbon or even nails, I’ve never become bored of their reuse potential and am always keen to find new ideas.   I particularly love them for displaying flowers – tall passata jars make great vases as do the short and dumpy Nutella jars.


Of course, there are only so many that can be reused and repurposed, eventually recycling becomes the last resort, dropping them into the coloured bottle banks, so they can be melted, remoulded and refilled to deliver food and wine to my table.


And if it’s the sparkling type, even better.  Those bottles make great candle decorations for a celebration dinner.


On that note, let’s raise a toast.


Apparently old jars as drinking glasses are the latest trend.


Me? Oh, I’ll stick to my recycled wine glass.


So, without further ado.


Bottoms up and three cheers to all the creative possibilities that can be had with glass.


*Guest blog post by Karen Cannard, the creator of The Rubbish Diet, a slimming plan for bins that can halve your waste in just a few weeks.  For practical tips that help reduce your waste and save money, sign up for The Rubbish Diet Challenge at  And if you’re in West London, look out for events where there will be also be opportunities to meet local Bin Doctors.



Why is it important to separate coloured glass for recycling?

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In the recycling process, colour is very important. Clear glass is usually recycled back into new clear glass, and coloured glass is recycled back into new coloured glass. The process of splitting mixed glass adds additional time and cost, which is why it is more efficient to sort the glass before the recycling process begins to ensure better quality of the new glass products.


This is why we were very happy to hear that Southampton council has  recently started to separate recycling collections for glass. This means more glass will end up being recycled as a result, saving money and energy too.


As fellow glass-lovers know, glass is one of the most sustainable packaging materials available. Made from just three natural ingredients: sand, limestone and soda ash, it remains 100-percent recyclable for life.


Friends of Glass hopes that more and more cities in the UK will follow Southampton’s excellent example, ensuring higher rates for glass recycling. All in all, a great result for glass and an even better one for the environment!


The Most Glassy Ad We’ve Ever Seen!

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If you asked us, we’d probably say that Douwe Egberts new ‘No Ordinary Coffee’ TV advert may just be one of our favourite ads ever. It has all the right ingredients: creativity, fun, and of course, glass!


We love all the great ideas showcased in the ad, on how to give a jar a second life and reuse it once you’ve spooned the last drop of coffee out. Douwe Egberts suggests using it as a flower vase, storage, house decoration or sweet storage. For those who haven’t caught it on TV yet, you can watch it here.


Everyone knows that air is the enemy of food and coffee is no exception. Once coffee’s original packaging is opened, coffee can loose its freshness quickly. So in order to keep coffee fresh as long as possible, you want to store it in an air tight container, and glass over the years has proven to be the best solution.


Egg-cellent Glass: 5 Easy Easter DIY Tutorials

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There are many reasons to love Easter: not one but two Bank Holidays, gathering with family and friends, and of course, lots and lots of chocolate. However you will be spending it, whether it is of religious significance for you or simply a time to relax, why not try these very easy tutorials to add that extra touch to your home during this special Spring celebration?


Desserts in a Jar


We love baking in glass jars and Easter is no exception! Try making these Bird’s Nest Cupcakes in Mason Jars layered with sponge cake, lemon curd, apricot-pineapple preserves and cream cheese frosting. Topped with toasted coconut…it’s a true spring treat! Full tutorial here.



Easter Egg Vase


A very simple idea with a real ‘wow’ factor! Start with a large clear glass jar or a vase and place it in the center. Then stack dyed, hard-cooked eggs between the glass and jar, alternating egg colours. Fill the glass with water. Cut the stems of your favorite flowers to the desired length, and arrange them in the glass. Full tutorial here.



An Egg Display to Last


Want to make something long lasting? Blow out the inside of your eggs and put them into a large glass jar – they will last indefinitely. Make your display more interesting by combining it with some other natural treasures: beach pebbles, sticks or dried flowers. Full tutorial here.



Treats for Kids


Love to try something new? Why not use glass jars instead of traditional baskets to put a selection of sweets in. Add a pretty cloth and a ribbon to make them really stand out. Full tutorial here.



Easter Drinks


Don’t forget to add Easter sparkle to your drinks too! Cut out some bunny ears and attach them to the rim of a glass bottle.  Use some pink polka dot card stock to make the inner ear. Full tutorial here.



Have you got any tutorials for Easter? We would love to see them! Post them on our Facebook page or get in touch on twitter @FriendsGlassUK