Recycling is mandatory in many parts of the world. Several communities and states require that people sort their trash and recycle what can be recycled. Wine bottles are often recycled with glass, but what if there was a way that your wine bottles could be turned into functional art or practical uses.
Green Glass is a company that is doing just that. They are implementing a unique recycling process that has them transforming wine bottles into useful sets of tumblers and goblets. The company was formed by the South African environmentalists Mara and Sean Penrith and Philip Tetley in 1992. They began turning empty wine bottles into beautiful glasses. They produce glasses in the United States, Great Britain and South Africa. They have been able to convert a quarter million pound of glass into functional artwork each year.
In the United States, reusable bottles are found only in the wine and beer industry. Some beer companies have begun picking up the used bottles by the manufacturer. Wine bottles are also made from heavy glass and many wineries will accept the bottles for refilling. Recyclable glass is clear, brown or green. There is a large demand for clear, brown and amber glasses. Green glass is not as desirable as it is used widely in the market.
If you are thinking of making your own wine, recycled bottles are the way to go. Begin a bottle collection by saving and sanitizing the bottles that you get from your wine purchases. They are completely safe and can be used over an over again. It can also be expensive to ship wine bottles because they are fragile. You can save money and help the environment by using recycled wine bottles.
There are several crafts that can be done with wine bottles. If you have access to a kiln, the bottles can be melted down into cheese cutter boards. They can be filled with mini Christmas lights and decorated for Christmas. Wine bottles can also be turned into creative oil lamps, you can even leave the label on them if they were made for a special occasion or the wine was very special. The bottles can also be used as a lamp base. Bottles can also be filled with homemade bath salts and or bubble bath.
Wine bottles can also be used to make hummingbird feeders. All you need is some 8 gauge copper wire and feeding tubes for the birds. The wire is decoratively wrapped around the bottle to hold and hang the bottle. You then insert the feeding tubes in the mouth of the bottle and fill the bottle with nectar.
Wine bottles can also be used to make interesting Old World style candles. Simply place a tapered candle in the top of the bottle. As the wax melts it will stick to the glass. They will end up looking like the candles you see in the movies on pirate ships. Very cool if you have an old-fashioned room in your house or an old fashioned tasting room and cellar.
Painting bottles have been very popular in recent years. There are several people who routinely stop by restaurants and bars to pick up their empty wine bottles. They then take them home, clean them, sterilize them and paint them. Bottles can be spray painted with a flat paint and then painted with interesting colors or they can be painted with the clear effect of the bottle and the colors on top of the glass. Either way, they are very beautiful and unique. These bottles are great as “filler” on your wine racks or to add a bit of variety on your mantels or bookshelves.
There are a variety of projects that can be done to recycle bottles. If you can find unique crafts you are doing a great job at recycling, if you aren’t the crafty type, then do your best to make sure that your wine bottles are ending up in the glass recycling plant.