Glass is something that many of us take for granted every day. It is an important part of our homes, vehicles, and the items we use every day. Many people are not aware of the size of the glass industry and its impact on our society. It is a remarkable material, and even though it has been around for thousands of years, it continues to be an increasingly important part of our society.
Glass was first invented in the first century BCE. Since that time, it has transformed society and is a part of many of the things we do in our daily lives. Glass is made by heating sand, soda ash, and limestone until they melt and fuse together. Adding other materials, such as iron oxide or cobalt, allows colored glass to be made. Glass is one of the most durable and resilient materials made by man.
Facts About the Glass Industry
The glass industry is one of the largest on a global scale. Here are 10 interesting facts about the glass industry.
- China is the largest glass exporter in the world.
- Glass has a global market value of over $115.8 billion.
- Silica is the most abundant raw material in glass, accounting for 73% of the ingredients used to make it.
- Recycled glass makes up about 21% of all glass production globally.
- When lightning strikes natural sand, it can turn it into glass.
- If a piece of glass cracks, the crack moves over 3,000 miles per hour.
- The “Portland Vase,” housed at the British Museum, is considered one of the most valuable pieces of glass in the world and was created sometime between 5 and 25 AD.
- Glass can take one million years to decompose, making it one of the longest-lasting materials on earth.
- Glass is 100% recyclable, and every 10% of recycled glass used in the making of new glass saves about 2-3% in energy consumption.
- The Container industry and packaging represent about 44% of all glass manufacturing in the world, with the construction industry coming in second.
Now that you know a little about the glass industry, you will probably appreciate it a little more as you gaze out your window the next time.