Glass Jars and Bottles - the Sustainable Choice?

Glass Jars and Bottles - the Sustainable Choice?

As consumers seek to become more socially and environmentally responsible, sustainable packaging is beginning to become a higher priority for brands and retailers.

Background: Market Pressure Towards Sustainable Packaging

As consumers seek to become more socially and environmentally responsible, sustainable packaging is beginning to become a higher priority for brands and retailers.

Evidence suggests that 80% of the damage done to the environment from waste products can be avoided if more thoughtful decisions – about their design, the choice of materials and chemicals used, and how they will be distributed and sold to consumers – are made at the production stage1.
Sustainable packaging is becoming a higher priority for both brands and consumers - more now than ever before.

As far back as 2018, McDonald's announced its packaging will be 100% renewable and recycled by 20252. Millennials are pushing brands to be more socially and environmentally responsible3, and British marketplaces are being built around eliminating single-use plastics4.

It's clear that the term ‘sustainable packaging’ is more than just a buzzword.

In fact, implementing eco-friendly, sustainable packaging in your brand’s operations is no longer an option - it’s a necessity.

The eco-friendly credentials of glass are hard to ignore and with much media coverage and international political debate surrounding the global plastic pollution crisis, the cradle-to-cradle closed loop recycling of glass will continue to work in its favour. This is why glass has the reputation of being an eco-friendly choice, while plastic suffers negative press. Is this justified when your particular product is taken into account? This is established by a complex research piece and a series of calculations on carbon footprint and environmental impact of each stage of your production journey - a complete Lifecycle Analysis (LCA). But more on that from us soon - for now, let's look at the sustainable properties of glass.

The Sustainable Properties of Glass

According to the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), one tonne of recycled glass saves 1.2 tonnes of virgin raw materials and 60 per cent of CO2 across the supply chain, while reducing air pollution by 20 per cent and water pollution by 50 per cent. What's more, the energy saved from recycling just one glass bottle can power a computer for up to 20 minutes5.

Thanks to glass recycling, significant amounts of raw materials are saved and natural resources are preserved. Glass recycling also helps in saving energy as cullet (recycled broken or waste glass) melts at a lower temperature than raw materials. Consequently, less energy is required for the melting process6.

In addition, glass is unique in that it can be infinitely recycled without any deterioration in its properties, or integrity loss. When you consider that over 75% of glass is actively recycled it’s clearly a case of volume fixes everything, and with the industry’s next stepping-stone being 90% of all glass in the EU being recycled by 20307 it’s only going to improve. Consumers have noticed this too, with 3 out of every 4 people acknowledging that they believe glass is better at tackling climate change than plastic.

Another consideration is the carbon footprint created by shipping products over vast distances. This is a very real and global concern, which we are  continually striving to address by manufacturing our glass products closer to where the end products are produced.

We know that times have changed. Today’s customers are more aware of what goes into the earth, their products, and their bodies than ever before. This age of information brings with it great opportunities for those who lean into the sustainability of their product packaging. Glass, with all of its eco-friendly attributes, is more than just a package. It’s a motivating force when it comes to creating and sustaining brand loyalty.8

So, with these points in mind, and knowing that your consumers are likely to share the image of glass as a 'clean, green' solution, take a look through some of our glass bottles and jars - including some small size options which would be ideal for the current increase in tester pack requirements:

Richmond Jar Range - sustainable glass jars, fully recyclable sustainable jar option.
Eco-friendly glass bottles from Richmond Containers - Mallaig Range.
Dropper bottle range - sustainable glass dropper bottles from Richmond Containers


1. TechUK (2018), Reuse, Repair, Remanufacture in the ICT Sector Report
5. David Harrison, PPMA The Drinks Report 22/03/2020
8. Killinger, Jennifer. “New Survey: Half of Americans Say They Recycle 75 Percent or More of Recyclable Items.” New Survey: Half of Americans Say They Recycle 75 Percent or More of Recyclable Items, American Chemistry Council, 14 Nov. 2014,