Ecology

Difference between glass and crystal

When we talk about glass or crystal, normally, we fall into the error of thinking that both are the same. The crystal is also known as quartz and it is a mineral that we can find in nature. However, in our day to day we refer to the material with which some of the objects we use are made, such as glasses or crockery, by the name of glass. But did you know that this is a mistake? What we normally call crystal is really nothing more than a higher quality improved glass, so its correct name is not crystal (which is natural quartz itself), but rather crystal glass .

Difference between glass and crystal – summary

There are several differences between glass and crystal glass . Although at first glance they may seem the same, they are not at all. Take note of this list of differences between these two elements:

  • They differ in their composition. Glass is made up mostly of silica, fluxes, such as sodium or calcium, and stabilizers, such as aluminum, lead, or zinc. The use of lead oxide in the composition results in crystal glass, commonly known as crystal.
  • Lead oxide gives crystal glass a sound and shine that glass does not have.
  • Crystal glass is more transparent and delicate than glass.
  • Their coefficients of thermal expansion are different, that is, they melt at different temperatures, that of crystal glass being higher. This is due to lead in crystal glass.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable, however, crystal glass having a different coefficient of thermal expansion cannot be melted in the same furnaces as glass.
  • Glass is cheaper than crystal glass.

Actually, most of the tableware and all the containers intended for food, such as jars, jars or bottles that we use are made of glass. However, we can also find crystal tableware (or more correctly crystal glass), such as plates and glasses, or even window glass, among other objects.

If you want to learn how to know if something is glass or crystal ( crystal glass), we must pay attention to the sound that the object produces when it is struck with the finger and if a long sound is made, it means that it is crystal glass. Also transparency can give us a clue, since crystal glass is more transparent than glass. In addition, all those glass containers are marked with the green dot or recycling symbol , this point indicates that it can be recycled.

Is it possible to throw broken glass into the glass container?

No, as we have said, glass and crystal glass are not the same, so it is NOT possible to throw broken glass into a glass container . The fact that it is broken or not is not the factor that determines where it is deposited, the determining factor is its composition.

In short, a broken glass material, for example a broken glass bottle, it is possible to throw it into the glass recycling container, but a broken glass material, for example a glass, would not be possible to be able to recycle correctly.

The glass should be thrown into the green container that is shaped like an igloo. Only this material can be deposited in this container because if we deposit crystal glass or other materials, when the waste arrives at the recycling plant the new containers will be defective or the waste separation work within the plant will be much more expensive and they will be lost. effectiveness and efficiency.

Surely you have ever taken a glass container and you have appreciated that it has some air bubbles inside or on the surface, this is because glass and crystal glass have been mixed in the recycling process. In addition, glass containers should always be thrown away without lids or stoppers, since they are usually made of metal or plastic. The lids or plugs, if they are made of plastic or metal, should be thrown in the yellow container that is dedicated to the collection of plastic and metal containers.

Keep in mind that the color or shape of the container may change depending on the region or country, so you will have to check in your area which one is specific for this material. Here you can learn more about How to recycle glass and Why it is important to recycle glass .

Where the glass is thrown

We said that crystal glass, which we commonly call crystal, is a type of glass that is obtained thanks to the lead oxide in its composition, therefore, they cannot be recycled together, but then where are glass jars thrown away?

Crystal glass jars or any residue of this material must be taken to the closest clean point we have. It is true that, sometimes, you can break a glass and move to the clean room just for this reason can be a bit cumbersome, but we could leave it stored at home until we have a considerable enough amount of waste that must go to the clean point (broken toys, ceramics, light bulbs …). Thus, we take advantage of the trip to the clean point to carry various waste. Or also, although this option is less recommended, it could be deposited in the container that is destined for all waste, which is normally dark gray or dark green. Here we explain more aboutIn which container the glass is thrown .

Which is better glass or crystal – recycling point of view

From the point of view of recycling, it is better to buy glass objects , since this is 100% recyclable , which means that when a glass object is melted to make a new one, it does not lose quality or quantity.

However, crystal glass cannot be recycled at the recycling plants where glass is processed. This is due to its composition. Crystal glass contains lead, this element needing a higher temperature to be able to be melted.

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