Bio-glass: Recycled Glass Mystery

Recycled glass products typically have an eclectic feel, with chunks of broken glass visible within a field of binder material. Vetrazzo, EnvironGLAS, and even Icestone have a look that tells you the product is recycled whether you like it or not. While these materials are great for some applications, they may flaunt their “greenness” too heavily for some. COVERINGS ETC‘s Bio-Glass is a 100% recycled glass product that is 100% recyclable, which has a cleaner, more uniform look than many mainstream recycled materials. It also has a degree of translucency which expands the possible applications to light emitting surfaces.

Bio-Glass. Designed by COVERINGS ETC.

Depending on the color, the Bio-Glass slabs are made from either pre-consumer recycled glass, post-consumer glass bottles, or a combination of the two. “Bio-Glass has a non-porous cleanable finish that does not support microbial growth or allow moisture to accumulate, helping to maintain a mold- and germ-free environment. Bio-glass is durable and scratch and stain resistant.” The samples have a tactile quality, almost like sea-glass and in some slabs identifiable remnants of recycled wine or other bottles can be subtly made out.






The manufacturing process is vaguely described which leaves me questioning the net benefit of the product, although the Bio-Glass website touts many certifications. It is Cradle to Cradle Silver, NSF, and Greenspec certified as well as a contributor towards LEED credits. While Bio-Glass is made in Europe, it is shipped over in large quantities to minimize carbon footprint. Shipping via container ship emits 1/6th the amount of CO2 that a truck emits. Bio-Glass is interesting and attractive although somewhat elusive.

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