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Hi KarenDo the bottles get washed out and reused or are they melted and reused to form new bottle? The point I am trying to get across is the energy cost of cleaning the bottles compared to the cost of melting a re-manufacturing new ones, let alone the additional finical costs for re-manufacturing.
Am I bothered is a saying in the U.K. from the programme Little Britain. One of the Characters uses it frequently to express her couldn't care less attitude.
Quote from: Andrew K Fletcher on 04/10/2007 12:07:23Am I bothered is a saying in the U.K. from the programme Little Britain. One of the Characters uses it frequently to express her couldn't care less attitude.Catherine Tate Show, not Little Britain. Shame on you!On a serious note, I think bottles should be cleaned & re-used; although there is something perversely satisfying about hearing them smash as you drop them in the recycling skip 
Beer always tastes far better from a glass bottle than a can or a plastic bottle.
Another issue is the leeching of chemicals from plastic bottles. Some are linked to cancer and are oestrogen mimicking. Glass on the other hand does not contaminate the product inside at all.
Re discharge from washing bottles. We still are encouraged to wash plastic milk bottles etc before putting them in the recycle bin, this results in the same amount of pollution as washing bottles out or pretty close, so must be offset against the output into the environment from the furnaces reforming new bottles from old.
On a serious note, I think bottles should be cleaned & re-used; although there is something perversely satisfying about hearing them smash as you drop them in the recycling skip 
But yes, I'm all for re-use and re-cycle (and reduce in the first place!*)) and all my glass bottle either get an extended life at home (anything from impromptu vases to storage of various concoctions) or get recycled; with or without the satisfying crash.
What I heard, and keep hearing here and there though, is that much of our (UK) recycled stuff ends up getting shipped on otherwise empty container ships to China. Is that really so? Do you know??
*) it's really great to see a paper and cotton bag revolution happening. Now if only the general packaging can be brought under control then we're all laughing again 
Easily collected and recyclable indefinitely, glass and some metals, particularly aluminium, are some of the most efficient materials to recycle. Recycling aluminium saves up to 95% of the power needed in the energy-intensive process of smelting new aluminium, and used glass melts at a temperature lower than that needed to produce new glass, so again uses less energy.
One could, if one is being perverse, ask whether using materials merely for cosmetic purposes (e.g. as vases) really amounts to a justifiable use of it (ok, it may save the landfill sites, but from a functional perspective, it is not really functionally being reused, since you could choose not to have vases, and that would be at least as efficient in terms of material usage).
On the other hand, often there are secondary uses for recycled material where quality is less critical - for instance, I have heard that glass is being used as aggregate for concrete.
Cotton itself has had people complaining about the the conditions in which it is grown, and is another material that has to be imported.