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*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


Egg-citing News from Tesco – Or Is it?

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At Friends of Glass, we were intrigued at the news that supermarket giant Tesco is to switch from cardboard to plastic packaging for its eggs. Many readers who posted comments about it on newspaper websites such as the Daily Mail and The Guardian, seemed rather perplexed too. See some of the comments here.


We know it’s not always easy to make the right environmental choices, but the packaging material that offers the best recyclability and reusability has got our vote. What about you?




Make Earth Hour magical with glass

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Friends of Glass are big fans of Earth Hour and every year we join the rest of the world by switching our lights off for one hour on 29th of March. Earth Hour is such a great opportunity to do something we don’t need electricity for –maybe playing card or board games with your family or sip your favourite tipple as you swop favourite stories with friends by candlelight. Perhaps just sit for a while and reflect on why switching off the lights helps connect us closer to the Earth, as the clock ticks away the hour.


At Friends of Glass we love to prepare for the Hour by making some lovely lanterns from glass jars. These help  make the experience extra special. When making glass jars lanterns you can really use your creativity as anything goes. Maybe you like simple clear lanterns or maybe you like to paint them? Click here for this simple guide in how to create your very own.


Using glass jars at Earth Hour makes perfect sense because glass is  so environmentally friendly. Did you know that recycling glass bottles and jars saves energy? Primarily because it reduces the need to extract and refine natural resources and one glass bottle can go a long way! Even if you recycle one glass bottle, it saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours! You have to agree that’s pretty amazing :)


We Say A Big ‘Cheers’ to Appletiser

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Last week we were delighted to hear that the makers of Appletiser, the delicious sparkling apple juice – have decided to turn their backs on plastic and return to glass bottles. Following this news, the Friends of Glass UK team had a big ‘Cheers’ moment where we all raised a toast along with a glass of fizz (Appletiser of course!)


It’s no surprise really; glass bottles are simply the perfect vessel for Appletiser.  Not only do the iconic bottles  look great, but glass, unlike plastic,  doesn’t need any extra chemical layers so its contents stay fresher for longer. Appletiser is made with gently sparkling 100% apple juice and with no preservatives, added sugar or colourants, it’s pure  as well as tasty. When enjoying it from a glass bottle, you know that you are experiencing the full original flavour and nothing else!


Are you a fan of Appletiser too? Head over to their website for some tips on how to pair your drink with some delicious recipe suggestions.










Pancake Day Facebook Competition

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Good news for all competition lovers! We are running a new Facebook contest, this time with the focus on national Pancake Day. Tell us what do you love to put on top of your pancakes and you could win a £10 Sainsbury’s gift voucher or one of two special Friends of Glass jute bags.


To enter the competition, you simply need to let us know in a comment under the competition announcement post on our Facebook page. But hurry up, because our competition ends at 10pm tomorrow, Tues 4th March.


We are really looking forward to reading all your entries, good luck :)



Friends of Glass Facebook Competition rules:


1. One entry per person per day

2. The competition will run from 4pm on 3rd March until 10pm on 4th March 2014

4. There is no cash alternative. The decision of the Friends of Glass UK team is final

5. Winners, please allow up to 28 days after the closing date for delivery of your prize

Coke Bottles Get Lighter

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‘Coke taste better from a glass bottle’ is probably the most common phrase we hear from our fellow Friends of Glass. It’s no surprise really. Glass is inert and so doesn’t interact with what it holds, which is why it’s simply the best protector of flavour and freshness.


Glass bottles clearly have some brilliant advantages: they look great, they are better for your health and the environment, and are also getting much lighter too! UK glass manufacturer Ardagh has designed a new 330ml glass bottle for Coke weighting just 190g that is 26 per cent lighter than its comparable 2005 bottle.


Amazingly, the new bottle retains all the bottle’s trademark dimensions, quality and strength. Talking about the new and improved design, Carsten Berkau, Design Manager for Glass Europe at Ardagh, said:  “Lightweighting is an ongoing process through well-established design and manufacturing techniques. Our task is to keep the famous shape, whilst determining the stress points and the optimum weight of a glass bottle. State of the art technology ensures that when we are challenged, we can respond with even greater precision.”

A Friend of Glass – The Organic Blending Company

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Here at Friends of Glass we love making new friends. This happens a lot when we are out and about attending shows, meeting so many passionate glass lovers and supporters! Last year, at BBC Good Food Scotland we popped over to The Organic Blending Company’s stand and were impressed to see so many lovely herbs and spices beautifully preserved in glass jars.


We learnt that when it comes to storing spices, your biggest enemies are air, light, heat and humidity. That’s why glass is a perfect air tight material to protect, preserve and keep spices fresh. Gordon Wicklow, Managing Director of The Organic Blending company, says: “We want to deliver a high visual impact, while offering the best possible packaging to keep all the flavour in our products.  This combined with the feel of glass means that glass is really the only choice for our products.”


Not only do their spices look great in glass, they are also free from GM ingredients, nut sources and are 100 per cent organic! The varied organic range includes grinding herbs and spices, sprinkles, marinades, gravies and stuffing. The Organic Blending Company is a true heaven for those who are always on the lookout to add that extra twist to their favourite meal or invent something new in the kitchen.