Yesterday, a gentleman came into Sand N Stones and we started talking about sea glass, and what sea glass is. It is essentially our trash that has found its way into a large body of water, the waves break it up, the tide comes along smoothing the edges with the sand, and it is the acidity of the water, eating away at the glass causing the coveted frosting. It takes 50+ years to make a piece of glass into a piece of sea glass. I also explained that glass is a made from a natural products, Lime, Soda, and Sand when mixed together it forms sand. We started talking about how we wished that more things were made from glass.
I know that we can sterilize glass and reuse it over and over again. How things taste so much better when it is served in glass vs plastic. I realize that it cost more to ship glass than plastic, because of the weight of the glass. The money that we are paying for environmental clean-up and health care issues caused by the plastics and styrofoam, would surely make up for the shipping cost of glass.
There is an island floating out in the ocean, bigger than the size of Texas, purely made from plastic. Unfortunately, it only keeps on getting bigger. We than started talking about how people are not going to stop polluting, and how our great-great grandchildren will still be dealing with our plastic and styrofoam trash during their life time. At least with glass, the waves and the rocks will break up the glass, and eventually it will go down to a pebble of sand once again.
I told him that I have never heard of an animal passing away from a piece of glass, now I am sure that may have happened, but surely not to the extent that we are hearing about today with plastics.
He told me that the Recycling companies are having a hard time with recycling glass. They really cannot melt it down, so they are trying to crush it called glass cullet. At one time, they were mixing the glass with our asphalt, to pave our roads eliminating the need to presort the glass and replace gravel which is mixed into the asphalt. They also use glass cullet for match tips, tile, and counter-tops. There has been some chatter about possibly replenishing the beaches, and the golf course sand pits with the crushed glass, but according to the gentleman that I was speaking with they are still getting slivers of glass that are sharp. So they have not perfected that idea yet.
After the gentleman left my shop, I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation. What if we allowed Mother Nature to take over that process? It has been proven over time, that if we dump ONLY glass into our oceans, The waves will break it up, and it will eventually go back down to a grain of sand once again. This would help with keeping the natural ocean shelves where they need to be. Instead of destroying them when we do beach preservation. It will not really disturb our marine animals and birds because they have the same enzymes that we have, and their cuts will heal, look at most of the manatees, whales and sharks they all have scars which have all healed. I do not believe that that the lime and soda that also is in glass, will disturb our wildlife either, since it will be mixed in with the glass, which is in a solid state.
Please do not hear me say, that I think that we should litter. that is not what this blog post is about. What I want to say, is that I feel that we should go back to glass containers, it is safer for us, our environment, and our planet.
I think that we need to come up with some simple creative solutions that will take care of more than one problem.