NSG Pilkington was one of the partners in Imagination Station’s attempt to break the Guinness world record for the most glass bottles collected for recycling.

This past weekend, the Imagination Station in Toledo and a number of industry partners set out to break the Guinness world record for the most glass bottles collected for recycling in a single hour. The result was the successful “shattering” of the previous record from 2019, with a portion of those bottles set to be turned back into sand for industry use.

According to the Imagination Station in Toledo, the one-hour effort on Saturday, November 5 saw more than 20,970 pounds of glass bottles collected for recycling. The previous record, set in 2019 in Spain, was for less than 5,500 pounds. Kyle Sword of NSG Pilkington, a partner in the endeavor, says numerous elected officials were in attendance Saturday as were a dozen different companies and volunteers from schools.

“We had a big line of cars and people lined up ready to drop off donations,” he says. “In the weeks prior we had been collecting donations and getting those ready to be weighed in during that single hour. This is a good thing to do for the community and shows there are ways we can work together.”

Sword says the collection is a great example of necessary collaboration highlighted via the 2022 International Year of Glass.

The one-hour effort on Saturday, November 5 saw more than 20,970 pounds of glass bottles collected for recycling.

“Toledo is the Glass City, and yet we don’t collaborate and work with each other,” Sword says. “So this has been a nice opportunity for us to get together and work with other glass companies. One of the things that this committee at the International Year of Glass came up with is that we should do a better job collectively as a glass industry driving up recycling rates.”

He says the U.S. can also do a better job recycling all types of glass.

“If we do it right and work together, a rising tide raises all ships,” Sword says. “It won’t help us today, but long-term, if we want to have a more sustainable future, glass recycling is going to be a part of that.”

Furthermore, Sword believes the reuse of glass will be paramount for the success of a circular economy and recycling.

“Right now, a lot of glass gets reused but it doesn’t get reused as its best material,” Sword says. “There are all sorts of ways to potentially reuse glass. The thing to start figuring out is how you get the best use out of the products. It’s not a huge part of the glass value chain yet, but it probably needs to be. It’s one of those things that’s starting to change.”

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