Can You Recycle Wine Glasses? (Don’t Make These Mistakes)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

There comes a time when even the nicest glassware needs to be recycled. This could be because you no longer use them, they are no longer your style, or you have too many, and you need to clear up some cabinet space. 

For whatever reason, wine glasses are commonly recycled. However, is that how they should be disposed of? Continue reading to find out this answer and more!

Can You Recycle Wine Glasses?

Due to the additives inside wine glasses and many other glassware items you have in your kitchen, it is infrequent that they will be recyclable. What you can do instead is donate them to a charity or even give them to a friend or family member to give the item a new life.

While you may be thinking that all glass is the same, many glass items contain different additives to help it be temperature resistant or improve the resistance for daily use. Let’s talk more about how your wine glasses are recyclable and what you can do with them! 

How To Recycle Wine Glasses

Most of the time, drinking glasses are actually not able to be recycled. 

This is because certain additives in most glassware make it temperature resistant to extend the life of the wine glasses. 

Furthermore, these additives actually separate the glass we typically recycle from glass that is better to pass on to someone else. 

Although you cannot recycle wine glasses in your bin, there are a few different ways that you can recycle or reuse your wine glasses. 

Therefore, if you are a creative person, this may be the time to show your skills! 

Some of the best ways to avoid trashing your wine glasses are: 

  • Create new items with old wine glasses.
  • Donate them to secondhand or charity stores to be resold. 
  • Throw a garage sale to have locals find new glasses.
  • Give them to friends and family. 
  • Find a recycling center near you that accepts glassware.
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Even though wine glasses are not technically able to be recycled, there are still different locations in certain areas that will take unwanted glassware.

There they will create new glassware to be sold in stores or used in stores. However, the location should explicitly say they accept glassware.

If you are trying to recycle any type of broken glass, then make sure that you do not put it into any sort of recycling bin as broken glass is never accepted at any type of recycling center. 

This is because it could become dangerous and cause harm to others. 

Therefore, throw it away in a trash can, or even safely manage it and use it for art projects! 

Is Glass Recyclable?

Since we now know that glassware is technically not recyclable, the question is, is all glass not able to be recycled? 

There are actually two different types of glass – Soda-Lime and Borosilicate.

  • Soda-Lime: One of the most common types of glass out there, is found in many different packaging products, and it is almost the most produced. Typically, only container-type glass is able to be recycled since it is not treated to withstand temperatures and use. 
  • Borosilicate: This is the type of glass that your wine glasses and other glassware are often made out of. It is treated to help the glasses be able to hold both hot and cold drinks. Borosilicate glass has a much different melting point than typical glass. 

However, it is one of those instances where you should use your best judgment. 

If something is beyond repair or damaged, it may be better off to be used for something else or even thrown away.

Furthermore, another important thing to remember is that if you are trying to recycle any type of colored glass, it can only be recycled with like colors. 

So while those amber glass wine glasses from your favorite store may be beautiful, they are even more challenging to recycle than a standard wine glass would be.

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Is Glass Biodegradable?

Is Glass Biodegradable?

Since glass is not technically recyclable, a lot of people want to know if it is even biodegradable. 

Although glass is considered to be a natural material since it comes from sand, it is actually not biodegradable. 

With that being said, it does not mean that it won’t wear down over time. 

Furthermore, we are constantly finding glass from centuries ago, but it takes different forms over time. 

We have seen a rise in sea glass which is essentially broken-down glass from natural elements. 

But, what kind of elements are we talking about?

  • Exposure to wind, extreme temperatures
  • Exposure to water, storms
  • Human interaction and efforts to change glass into different forms

Although glass may not be biodegradable, it is much better to use than single-use plastic or something similar. 

Additionally, many people use their wine glasses in unique ways to not only accentuate their décor but also to help reduce waste. 

Is Glass Bad For The Environment?

Let’s talk about something that we all should consider, is glass bad for the environment? 

This can be a complicated question because there is more than one answer. 

On one side, some glass cannot be recycled and is seen as consumer waste. 

On another side, it can be reused and even recycled in certain situations. 

For example, there are wine glasses that are made from recycled glass, which means that they are created from the breakdown of other wine glasses to create new and sustainable products. 

So, while glass may not always be amazing, it is more eco-friendly than any other plastic items that may be in your cabinets. 

How To Reuse And Upcycle Your White Glasses

More and more people are buying unique stemware from some of the most popular stores in the country. 

If you or someone you know has some artistic flair, create your own unique glasses that you can sell through places like Amazon, Etsy, or even your social media accounts. 

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Some unique ways to repurpose your wine glasses include:

  • Use paint and other materials to make custom or themed wine glasses which you can sell online or give away as gifts to friends and family. 
  • Use them as alternative planters or even as a way of propagating your plants.
  • Breaking them into smaller pieces to use in artwork, specifically use in mosaics or ceramic work. 
  • Use them as dishes to serve desserts or other interesting things instead of wine.

The options are really endless when it comes to what you can use a wine glass for. 

Even the type of wine glass you are using can make a huge difference in what you are able to use it for. 

Furthermore, if you are looking for ideas, you can always check websites like Pinterest or even social media platforms for some great inspiration.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle wine, beer, champagne, and soda glass bottles, the number of times you can recycle glass, and whether you can recycle plastic and metal jar lids.


While glass may seem like the most sustainable option on the market, there is so much that goes into the actual production of your favorite drinking glasses that can have the opposite impact. 

If you do have wine glasses that you are wanting to get rid of, make sure that you are doing your best to donate, sell, or even gift them to someone else. If all else fails, call local recycling centers in your area to make sure they accept them first.


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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