Is glass that much better than plastic?

Plastic packaging is unthinkable for people who want to live without waste. Glass, on the other hand, can do no wrong. I catch myself having no problem buying something in/with glass and always try to avoid plastic. I wanted to know if its true. Is glass that much better than plastic for the environment?

First, I looked at the negative points of glass. To make new glass, sand is needed. This sand comes from rivers and sea banks. This extraction causes the disturbance of ecosystems. When glass is made, it has to be transported. The biggest disadvantages compared to plastic are that glass is heavier and therefore transport causes more emissions. In addition, glass breaks more easily during transport. 

The biggest advantage of glass is that the recycling is a closed loop recycling. This means that no additional waste or by-products are created, in contrast to plastic. Of the negative points mentioned above, the first (mining sand) is largely eliminated. However, this is only true if all glass is recycled instead of being dumped. In America, less than half of the glass is recycled as this is more expensive than making new glass. In Belgium (and many other European countries) however, almost 100% of correctly discarded glass is recycled and reused (yay Belgium). 

So to answer the question: is glass that much better than plastic? We need to look at a lot of factors rather than just the recycling process.

How sustainable is bamboo

The question that many people are concerned with is: How sustainable is bamboo?  

First, I would like to tell you a little bit more about the way bamboo grows. There are many species of bamboo. About 1500. 50 of them can be used as building material. Bamboo is actually a type of grass. That is why it grows so fast. Within 3 to 6 months, bamboo reaches its maximum height, which depends on the species. The largest bamboo species can reach a height of 40 metres and a diameter of 30 centimetres. After this, it takes several years for the bamboo to become fully mature. For many items, such as toothbrushes, this is not necessary and it can be harvested after a few months. For furniture, it takes another 4-5 years for this hardening. 

but how sustainable is bamboo? 

Bamboo has the characteristics of hardwood (which are the slow growing trees), but grows faster than softwood (which are the fast growing trees). Just like other plants, bamboo reduces the greenhouse effect by absorbing CO2. In fact, bamboo absorbs more oxygen from the air than an equivalent hardwood. Bamboo reduces up to 5 times more CO2 and produces 35% more oxygen. This makes it a very important plant in the fight against global warming. 

Cutting down the older bamboo stems gives the younger bamboo more room to grow. This makes bamboo an inexhaustible resource. 

Bamboo is not only a sustainable alternative, it is also a sturdy one! It is even claimed that bamboo is seven times stronger than steel. It is said to have greater tensile strength and is therefore one of the strongest materials on earth! Besides being strong, bamboo is also elastic. It is pliable, but does not deform after bending. It is also used as a natural shock absorber. 

Bamboo has many good qualities in addition to its constructional qualities. It is a natural anti-bacterial material and it eliminates odours. Bamboo contains no toxic substances and therefore does not cause allergies. 

Bamboo sells itself and I don’t have to tell you that I am convinced!