Going green has begun to touch just about every industry, including recycled glass plates and fine dinnerware. If you ever wondered where your returned bottles go, artisans from all around the world are giving new life to recycled glass in the form of beautiful and useful plates, cups, saucers, and bowls.
The Process of Recycling Glass
Bottles, jars, and common household glass are reduced to glass pieces called cullet at plants with systems large enough for this job. Everything from a series of magnets, to screens, and sifters separate the bottle debris taking out caps, labels, and anything else attached to the glass. Smaller glass artisans and designers can purchase in its raw form according to color, while much of it goes through an immediate mixing process with limestone, silica ash, and silica sand into industrial furnaces. During the heating process, it becomes molten glass as it melts.
Why Recycled Glass Plates
Turning recycled glass into recycled glass plates and other dinnerware is actually a natural leap in the world of design and re-use of materials. Even those of who are non-artists have been re-using glass receptacles for years - turning glass jars for juice cups, and flower vases. Recycling takes the concept, one-step further.
The beauty of recycled glass plates that has been hand blown and created in smaller furnaces in small batches, lies in the individuality achieved in both the form and function of the plate. Naturally, artisans seek to achieve uniformity in look, but with experimentation, quite often they can achieve unique effects such as whorls, bubbles, and swirls. In addition, to having a cumulative effect of reducing waste, every recycled plate, piece of dinnerware, and object d'art is a new advance into the world of beautifying the world on quite another level.
Fire & Light Recycled Glass Dinner and Giftware
Fire & Light hand-poured glass tableware makes some of the most breathtaking dinner and giftware in the country. The company originally formed in 1995 between a group of investors and the Arcata Community Recycling Center in California. Using recycled glass, the glass was melted in furnaces and color added. The molten glass poured into plates, bowls and glass molds and the company released its first products in December of 1995.
In 1999, John and Natali McClurg bought Fire & Light and turned the company into what it is today, with 20 employees making and shipping this dinner and giftware that is made in the USA, to gift stores and galleries around the country. They have introduced recycled products into the packaging of their glassware and into the manufacturing process as well. The colors are rich, luminous, and a colorful reminder of what how post consumer waste can become an entirely new creation.
Recycle and Renew With a Purpose
Plates with Purpose are made entirely in the USA of recycled glass. These plates have an added benefit of raising money for charities in Pennsylvania. The plates measure 9" x 9" and come in the following designs:
- Heart Plate - $29.99 - Pittsburgh's Habitat for Humanity
- Star Plate - $29.99 - Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force
- Flower Plate - $29.99 - Greater Pennsylvania Chapter - Alzheimer's Association
- Wheat Plate - $29.99 - Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Recycled plates are one example how a small idea can bring about a great change in our world. In the hands of innovators and artisans, waste becomes something wanted, something useful, and something beautiful. Placed on your table, these plates help your family break bread together while preventing the further breakdown of Mother Earth.