Someone once discovered that certain kinds of sand, melted at a high temperature, can become glass. That initial discovery opened the window for continuing innovation that has made glass one of the most important materials in modern life. At Owens Corning, our aspiration is to continue finding new and exciting ways to deploy the properties of glass to make the world a better place.
One way we advance this aspiration is by using recycled glass. In 2022, Owens Corning used 1.4 billion pounds of recycled glass in our manufacturing. In fact, our pink fiberglass insulation contains anywhere from 53 percent to 73 percent recycled content, depending on the specific product.
Glass can be stronger and lighter than steel, and it doesn’t corrode or rot. And through innovations like ours, it can replace traditional materials in surprising ways. Using fiberglass mat under roofing shingles provides better water resistance. Glass-reinforced concrete helps bridges last, and because it is light, it is also easy to transport and install. Used in wind turbine blades, glass reinforcements make the blades long, strong and light, which makes the turbines efficient — and wind energy may be less costly. And fiberglass insulation products help conserve energy while improving acoustics and fire resistance in the places where we work, live and play.
Glass can also be recycled over and over without losing quality, making it a great foundation material for the circular economy. But the supply of crushed post-consumer glass — also known as cullet — is at risk.
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