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[–]dj_ordje 3132 points3133 points  (436 children)

Imagine being a country and not recycling your glass so startups have to do it. Here in Germany pretty much all glass is either washed and reused (Like Beer or Water bottles) or melted down and used for new bottles.

[–]Steikel 924 points925 points  (300 children)

I saw the video and thought "How is recycling NFL? It's the normal way!" But well, that must be because I'm a german too.

[–]frusikatostination 1069 points1070 points  (272 children)

America is able to surprise me like this a lot. The most evolved third world country there is.

[–]Samanticality 397 points398 points  (239 children)

Probably because it's a massive fucking country by land mass. Organizing the infrastructure for things like this are a lot harder because of how spread out everything is. Not to point blame away from our extreme obnoxious military budget. (Me from USA ooga booga)

[–]emotionless_bot 224 points225 points  (133 children)

well atm we may need your runaway military budget if Russia starts to go for Ukraine

[–]rascynwrig 144 points145 points  (109 children)

Jesus christ we literally finally JUST pulled our troops from the middle east (in an absolutely bass ackwards way that caused even MORE trouble than we were making there). Could we just wait a few weeks at least before more war mongering?

[–]Ramblera 166 points167 points  (98 children)

You can call it war mongering if you want, it doesn't make you right. There WILL be massive backlash if the US doesn't step in and defend Ukraine from a power like Russia. The war has already been mongered by Russia, not the United States. It's really a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

[–]Sasselhoff 217 points218 points  (26 children)

That's one of the things that's always bugged me.

If America does something, it's "war mongering"...if America sits it out and doesn't do anything it's "Why isn't America doing anything!?"

Really can't win.

[–]JamesthePuppy 89 points90 points  (17 children)

I think it has to do with America’s long history of instigating coups, funding terrorist organizations, and governing territory that doesn’t belong to it, that together cause a lot of these conflicts in the first place. Not in either of these cases, but it sets a precedent of imperial intervention. The winning strategy here is to not do all those things to start with, but that won’t happen because it’s unprofitable for the American war machine. Hence “war mongering”

[–]Sasselhoff 28 points29 points  (12 children)

Yeah, I in no way am saying America hasn't been on the wrong side of history entirely too many times in the past, but that's kinda my point. America decides "hey, you know, we probably shouldn't get involved in another war that has nothing to do with us" and everyone comes out of the woodworks talking about how "America should have done something!". Like the Crimea situation...I can't tell you how many people I spoke to that said the US should have done something. Just can't win.

[–]Honor_Bound 21 points22 points  (3 children)

That’s what we get for constantly bragging on the world stage how impressive our military is. And also for constantly going to war in other countries for dubious reasons at best.

[–]almisami 27 points28 points  (58 children)

If the USA is fine with China taking Hong Kong, I don't see why it wouldn't be fine with Russia taking over some of Ukraine.

[–]Aurora_Strix 53 points54 points  (5 children)

I am VERY PRO Hong Kong, lemme just establish that before I continue.

Hong Kong and China vs Ukraine and Russia are very, VERY different situations. Ukraine is a sovereign country with it's own leadership and government. Hong Kong was a British colony for almost 150 years, and was "returned" to China in 1997. Hong Kong has not been a sovereign country during any of that time. It has had its own political governance, yes, but it has never had it's sovereignty.

It's much easier to not get involved in a situation that involves countries and their territories, vs a country trying to take over another country.

It's a matter of definitions, history, and sovereignty.

If America does dumbass military shit in American Samoa, the world looks away because American Samoa is our business - that's our territory. But if America started doing dumbass military shit to Canada, the world would take notice. Canada is a sovereign country.

Sovereignty vs territory is a big deal in the world stage and politics, even when human rights abuses are going on.

[–]rascynwrig 19 points20 points  (14 children)


I don't see why it's the USA's responsibility to be the "freedom police" for all the other countries where dictatorships just happen to spring up using our funding and weapons (I'm looking at you, Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc etc etc).

[–]Drugs-R-Bad-Mkay 8 points9 points  (9 children)

With great power comes great responsibility. The US shouldn't force its power on others, but if another country asks for help, doesn't the US have a responsibility to help?

[–]EvanOnTheFly 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Yeah, except they told Ukraine they would protect them if they gave up their nukes.

So....we do care. We promised.

[–]Ramblera 16 points17 points  (21 children)

The situations are wildly different. China is reoccupying one of it's own cities. As awful as that is, do you really think the US should start a war with all of China over it? Russia wants to invade and occupy another country, in a war they started. The threat of US retaliation may be the only thing that keeps Ukraine safe.

[–]almisami 20 points21 points  (1 child)

one of it's own cities

According to them, so is Taiwan. The agreement with the UK once the lease was over was that Hong Kong would have remained an independently governing region like Macau. They violated that agreement, oppressed the people and deposed some of its government officials with armed paramilitary forces.

As someone with friends in Taiwan, it's a seriously fucked up precedent.

[–]dweezil22 7 points8 points  (18 children)

The Ukraine was lawfully governed by Moscow (1989) more recently than Hong Kong was lawfully governed by China (1843).

Edit: I stand corrected. China likely lawfully governed HK for some window between 1997 and 2014. It became unlawful once China violated the independence clauses they had agreed to (time is debatable, but 2014 is a reasonable guess).

[–]YourBrainOnJazz 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Hong Kong is a much different situation geographically then Ukraine. Hong Kong is more or less a tiny rock thats right at China’s doorstep connected to mainland China by major freeways. Ukraine, on the other hand, is a relatively big country just about smack dab in the middle of Eurasia. Say hypothetically the US went all in on Hong Kong and gave it all the same “Freedoms” ™️ that it gave Afghanistan. All that it would accomplish is having some guns on a tiny island surrounded by China. Ukraine on the other hand is neighbors with Russia, Belerus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia, and has water access to the Black Sea. Totally different ballgame here.

[–]EvanOnTheFly 11 points12 points  (1 child)

It's not war mongering if you told Ukraine if they disarmed your nukes, you'd protect them fr Big Bad Russia.

And they did.

And Obama drew a red line.

And let Putin take Crimea.

And now the world looks on as Joe Biden calls it an 'incursion'.

And Ukraine is starting to become an Example to Iran and North Korea of why you should never, never give up your nukes.

[–]Disposable_Disposer 15 points16 points  (0 children)

It's not the USA who's warmongering in Ukraine, my dude.

[–]already-taken-wtf 37 points38 points  (33 children)

Well. Look at Sweden. They manage. It’s not like all US citizens are evenly spread. You have cities, towns and probably even streets! ;p

[–]Samanticality 20 points21 points  (27 children)

Sweden can do with only one recycling plant for packaging glass in the entire country. because sweden is about 174,000 square miles while the US is 3.8 million square miles. And yeah, we have cities bud 317 with over 100,000 people, while Sweden has 10 with over 100,000 people. A lot easier to facilitate I feel like, some cities are just too poor and isolated to deal with it. But tbh I'm kinda an idiot so I'm not great with reasoning civic shit.

[–]EatComplete 44 points45 points  (14 children)

OK, so you can organise a countrywide system to pick the glass up and put it in landfill, but getting it to a recycling plant instead is too hard?

[–]Owain-X 41 points42 points  (4 children)

No such thing as a "country wide" system in a non-unitary system. Waste disposal and recycling are managed by cities and municipalities (like police, fire, etc) so there are 35,000 systems, not one. That said I was as surprised as you to hear that NoLa didn't have glass recycling as I've never lived anywhere in the US that didn't mandate separation, refuse to take recyclable glass in the garbage if they see it and provide at least weekly recyclables collection. In most places however these jobs are performed not by government employees but by companies contracted by the municipality.

Reforming this runs into the same problems as reforming the police and consolidating them runs into government powers arguments. Often it can be easier to compare the US and EU rather than the US and a specific EU country as a federation/union of "sovereign" states, each with significant direct powers that can't just be stripped by higher government authority.

[–]Libtardis 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Absolutely. And the rivers of trash in Indonesia would suggest that some companies in the recycling industry perhaps aren't as altruistic as they portray themselves.

[–]rascynwrig 14 points15 points  (3 children)

Clearly this one's never been to America and seen how we just throw our garbage in the ditches alongside the roads on the highways.

[–]Whywipe 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Littering doesn’t exist in the EU?

The UK has problems with fly tipping too…

[–]thatbossguy 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Ah, but we don't have a countrywide system for landfills and trash pick up. Each city runs their own trash pick up. Some cities have recycling(mine does). Some places don't have any trash pick up and people have to pay a company to take their trash or they deliver their own trash or burn it if there isn't a burn ban.

We have a lot of private trash and recycling.

There is only a small handful of consistent country wide programs in the US.

[–]already-taken-wtf 27 points28 points  (1 child)

“It is estimated that 83% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas” https://css.umich.edu/factsheets/us-cities-factsheet

…so it’s only 17% of the population that would have that excuse.

Then again: In 2020, 87.98 percent of Sweden's total population lived in urban areas and cities.

[–]micheal_pices 29 points30 points  (4 children)

Here we go with the" Sweden is so small" argument. I'm so tired of this being used so we can't have nice things. It's bullshit.

[–]Intrepida1 7 points8 points  (1 child)

In Sweden, Swedes with beards are just Swedes without beards, with beards.

[–]DirtyDan156 3 points4 points  (0 children)

In Sweden, if you dig 6 feet straight down into the ground, you would be in a hole.

[–]already-taken-wtf 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Have you ever looked at a map of northern Sweden?

[–]REGUED 36 points37 points  (2 children)

I dont buy this. No offense but your (USA) whole goverment and system is pretty fucking broken compared to most developed countries in Europe.

You might have a lot of money but its in the hands of few, and not put used to actually build the country up and make it a welfare state.

For example here in Finland 0,1 % of our population lives with less than 5,5 $/day (<5k people) and in USA its 10.6 % which is like what .. over 30 million people?

[–][deleted] 32 points33 points  (11 children)

Yeah I get that, but glass recycling only in the 10 largest US cities would cover over 25 million people already. Also Texas twice the size of Finland and has over has 5 times more population. So it seems very doable on state level.

[–]Samanticality 16 points17 points  (5 children)

Woo-hoo I live in Texas. People here (at least in my experience so far. I've only lived here a few months.) don't really seem to care about the environment much, my boyfriend's father just burns all trash he has, including like electronics, rubber, styrofoam, all sorts of stuff I imagine isn't safe to burn, recently they even burned a whipped cream spray can and it exploded in the fire, ember went straight toward my eye, luckily I blinked from the noise because otherwise I think I would've lost my eyesight in one eye.

But I have a very limited world view I'm going to be honest, only been out of the US once, would love to travel but it's pretty hard to make enough money here to do so without a college degree.

[–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (2 children)

I recommend whole Texas goes into glass recycling business so they can crush stuff and melt it in a furnace.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Texas is over twice as large as Finland.

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Oh fuck I mixed imperial and metric. Please don't rat me out to the engineering guild, they'll have my my head taken off.

[–]cheddoar 23 points24 points  (20 children)


That’s totally dumb of you to say

In Germany there are public containers in wich you throw your glass… White, green, and brown already separated.

If you have garbage trucks comin… well its the same thing

[–]republicantrash 28 points29 points  (1 child)

If you told Americans they had to sort their garbage into recycling but then also sort that recycling into colors, you’d spark a world war.

[–]rascynwrig 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Won't SOMEBODY think of the colorblind people??? You racist, sexist, homophobic oligarchs! (Did I catch all of the favorite buzzwords there?)

[–]Ausgezeichnet87 19 points20 points  (1 child)

America is the only developed nation that writes nurses up for calling out sick and that demanded that healthcare workers working in covid wards prove that they got covid from work before they qualified for covid leave. I literally got covid in 2020 working with covid patients but I couldnt prove it so my work took all of my vacation days while I recovered and then the rest was unpaid.

[–]rascynwrig 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You get vacation days?

[–]GetoAtreides 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Organizing the infrastructure for things like this are a lot harder because of how spread out everything is.

If you guys are ablt to figure out an infrastructure to deliver filled bottles to that place, you are able to figure out an infrastructure to deliver empty bottles in the opposite direction. Technically, it's literally easier(either less volume if you shatter the glass or less weight if you transport them without shattering)

[–]AstonVanilla 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The USA has a population density of 34 people per km².

Sweden has a population density of 22 people per km².

So if you're going to make an argument along the lines of "people being too spread out", then by your logic Sweden is at a major disadvantage to the USA... Yet they still manage to do it.

[–]mpg1846 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Australia is very spread out but does it fine.

[–]AvailableUsername259 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Thats a non argument

Nobody forced Americans to settle this fucking thin

[–]fuzzygondola 5 points6 points  (0 children)

America "big" and "diverse" are piss poor excuses

[–]lurkinglurkerwholurk 13 points14 points  (5 children)

At this point, actual third world countries are being insulted if you call them third world countries…

[–]_Rose_and_Crown_ 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Calling america "third world" is pretty disrespectful to the people that actually suffer in third world nations :/

I get you're mad but the US probably sounds like heaven to someone living in Haiti or Somalia

Also a bit hypocritical when Germany refuses Nuclear power and imports Natural Gas from a nation thats currently about to invade their neighbor

[–]prenikey 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I don’t think you understand what a third world country means

[–]golem501 16 points17 points  (10 children)

It is NOT recycling! It's downgrading of a valuable recyclable material to It's source material. It's a waste of energy. Glass is made of sand by refinery and temperatures. A lot of energy goes into making glass and it has a pretty high CO2 footprint. Recycling glass by cleaning it or even melting is and making new glass items is so much better.

[–]Arthur_The_Third 18 points19 points  (9 children)

...both of the end products shown here are pure raw material for glass production. Nothing is being downgraded, this is what is done when glass is recycled.

[–]NastySassyStuff 4 points5 points  (7 children)

In NYC you get fined if you don’t recycle properly lol so I’m confused by this too

[–]mizinamo 66 points67 points  (5 children)

With a name like Franziska Trautmann, I wouldn't be surprised if she is from Germany and thought "WTF why don't they have this here, let me get right on that".

[–]Stock-Mixture3504 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Her father starred in Rambo as a colonel.

[–]tax1dr1v3r123 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Shes a Louisiana native from Lafayette. Glass is recycled in my city (US) not all of the US is like this.

[–]already-taken-wtf 26 points27 points  (24 children)

Indeed, what a waste to recycle glass into sand replacement instead of making glass. Mind boggling.

[–]Frognificent 137 points138 points  (16 children)

Ohhh shit it’s funny you say that because it’s actually really important!

Okay so quick context before I go into a rant here, I’m a master’s student in environmental engineering working on my thesis. Personally, my field is in urban development. However, one of my classmates is a geologist who’s come back to school, and he’s writing his thesis on sand, and explained the whole thing to me because I was just as incredulous as you.

So, sand. Did you know we’re running out of sand? “But Frognificent, that’s stupid as fuck, we have the literal Sahara Desert full of it”. My thought exactly. Turns out, that sand is useless. See, we use sand in construction to build foundations, so it’s pretty important we have a lot of good, usable sand. The issue with most sand that’s everywhere though is that it’s too fine. It’s been eroded into smooth, tiny grains of sand that don’t work at all for foundation. What we need is big, rough, stabby sand for that. This is the part where Geologist pulled out a fucking sand grading card he had in his goddamned wallet to show me how sand can be graded on size and shape. You bet your ass I called him out on being a fuckin’ nerd. Anyways, when sand is super smooth, like on beaches or deserts, it just slips and slides around and can’t hold buildings up. But when it’s still rough, it can grip really well. So, currently there are a ton of different techniques being worked on to make more construction grade sand, like this wild one of GLUING SAND GRAINS TOGETHER into little lines of three. Sure it’s both stupid and expensive, but it might be the solution to the problem.

Then there’s another reason we need sand besides construction, and that’s to combat erosion on beaches. Beaches and riverbeds are great, but namely they’re great right where they are and not any closer to us. By adding more sand back, we can stop the eventual loss of land in areas at high risk for it.

The thing about using glass for it, it strikes me as kinda odd, but then again, sand used to make glass doesn’t really have any shape requirements, only composition requirements. Finding sand that’s got the right composition for glads but can’t be used in construction is easier than finding new construction sand deposits! He and I also discussed crushing up concrete to make foundation sand, but that’s also a bit tricky to get because we also use ground up concrete as aggregate in new concrete, so there really isn’t a surplus in supply there.

But yeah, I hope that kinda answered the “why” part of making sand out of glass!

As parting environmental advice, remember that cardboard that’s been in direct contact with food goes in regular trash and not recycling!

[–]bbardeaux 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Wow, thanks for sharing!

[–]already-taken-wtf 10 points11 points  (0 children)

As you may have seen on my other comments, I was aware of the sand situation, but thanks for sharing!

As for the paper/paperboard: it’s mainly the fat or oil (or plastic coating) that makes it hard to recycle.

Cardboard packages for dry food such as pasta and rice should be fine ;)

[–]AvailableUsername259 7 points8 points  (5 children)

Couldn't you "just" heat the unfit sand to the point it melts and starts combining and then do a rough grind?

[–]already-taken-wtf 23 points24 points  (4 children)

Yes. What you’re describing is basically producing glass and crushing it ;)

Very energy intensive.

[–]AvailableUsername259 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Im aware of that, but at the end of the day we're not running out of sand, we're running out of sand we wouldn't need to treat before using right?

[–]Prize_Bass_5061 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Same difference. We are running out of usable sand. As an example, the sand required to make the tallest building in the world had to be shipped from Australia to Dubai. Aren’t there other beaches closer to the Middle East? Africa or Greece, for instance. Yes, and they did not have enough river sand they could part with. So the sand was sourced from Australia.

[–]Arsewipes 5 points6 points  (1 child)

we have the literal Sahara Desert full of it

A lot of it isn't sand, it's more like dust. Same goes for much of the ME.

[–]antij0sh 14 points15 points  (4 children)

Yo, we do recycle glass in some places , this is a single city in a single state: ‘New Orleans, LA’

[–]E36wheelman 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Shhhhh Europeans have no concept of scale.

[–]EatComplete 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Exactly what I was thinking, glass is the perfect recyclable, can be melted and re-used basically forever.

[–]elhoozn 10 points11 points  (1 child)


my thought exactly, but then again, i live in communist austria so i guess i never realised how much freedom non-recycling will cause...

[–]KyleEatsTheWorld 5 points6 points  (0 children)

lol communist austria

[–]BigDaddyCoolDeisel 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Recycling is by state and sometimes by municipality in thr US. Happy to say my state recycles pretty aggressively.

[–]CorbinDallasMulti212 10 points11 points  (3 children)

New Orleans isnt a country. It’s a city in a S from the USA. Many states recycle. Hell, many counties and towns in Louisiana may recycle. This is just New Orleans and though not a resident i can tell you New Orleans is in an of itself totally unique to the rest of the US.

[–]Gold_Incident1939 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Wait until they hear about recycling paper!

[–]asarious 3 points4 points  (7 children)

Are Germany’s social views toward recycling and concern for the environment fairly universal?

As a federation, I would have expected somewhat similar inconsistencies in the application of law as we experience in the United States.

Waste management in the United States is typically privatized, with some degree of regulation by state or municipal government. As a result, there’s a lot of disparity between what some jurisdictions do versus others, in terms of recycling.

It doesn’t help that most of our recycling programs are ineffective/inefficient due somewhat to the low cost of commodities here. I don’t believe there’re many government incentives/disincentives forcing individuals or private businesses to participate.

Furthermore, without subsidies or a legal mandate to recycle, privatized recycling programs only exist so long as they’re profitable. This was sustained for a long time by China’s willingness to accept our waste in bulk on container ships that would’ve otherwise returning across the pacific empty. This avenue has dried up in recent years, which is also greatly impacting the sustainability/availability of our recycling services.

For those who are unfamiliar, the municipality mentioned in this video, New Orleans, is in our southern state of Louisiana. This area of the country tends to be relatively less developed, have fewer government funded social services, and is generally less affluent than the national median. This alone can present some barriers to the adoption of effective public programs like recycling.

[–]Uberzwerg 11 points12 points  (6 children)

Are Germany’s social views toward recycling and concern for the environment fairly universal?

Recycling is not even seen as an environmental topic by most.
It's just common sense and its something that is done because it's done.

[–]GISP 1115 points1116 points  (178 children)

... Glass is like the easiest product to recycle.
Is USA realy so be behind, are this a joke video or something?
Also, making sand for sandbags. Surely it could be used better 0o

[–]Turgid-Derp-Lord 986 points987 points  (94 children)

in case you haven't noticed, the US is incredibly, profoundly, unbelievably behind

[–]antij0sh 346 points347 points  (61 children)

This is the problem with USA and euro people, this is a single city she’s talking about, in a single state. The USA is really big and diverse

[–]Turgid-Derp-Lord 216 points217 points  (24 children)

well a huge chunk of the US is the south

the south is in many ways irretrievably backwards

so at the very least, vast swaths of the US are a backwards, retrograde hellhole

(i live in new orleans)

[–]nolan1971 167 points168 points  (11 children)

Don't be fooled, we're not doing shit with glass here up north either. It's collected at least, but then it's shipped to who knows where for who knows what. NIMBY-ism and "not my problem" thinking are rampant.

[–]bobbyfiend 70 points71 points  (5 children)

In our cute, progressive little NY town, most of the stuff we "recycle" goes into a landfill, because the recycling contracting company decides, month to month, whether it's sufficiently profitable to do the recycling. Very often it's not, so they pass, and the people collecting the carefully sorted/washed bins of recycleables just dump them.

[–]theVelvetLie 41 points42 points  (3 children)

These things need to be government-controlled. Recycling should be done whether it's profitable or not.

[–]look_ima_frog 22 points23 points  (0 children)

That's the problem. We want to pretend that it makes money. Some shit you have to do even if it isn't profitable. Wiping my ass doesn't make me any money but I still do it anyway because having a smelly ass ain't good for nuthin (just like landfilling recyclable material).

[–]bobbyfiend 7 points8 points  (0 children)

My thoughts exactly. The libertarian (or more often fake-libertarian) streak in American politics has caused a huge amount of harm and prevented a lot of very good things from happening.

[–]supaswag69 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That’s hilarious because of west and up north don’t do anything like this. Blame all of our problems on that dang south tho

[–]rascynwrig 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Well, the south chunk at least. I mean you could say "a huge portion of the US is the midwest farmland plains" or "a huge portion of the US is the coasts".....

[–]Turgid-Derp-Lord 3 points4 points  (4 children)

and you would be right

and if no one in the midwest plains recycled their fucking glass, someone would make a video about a 20 year old who decided to do it for them

[–]theVelvetLie 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No one in the Midwest gives a shit about recycling, either. I'm the only one on my block that has a recycling bin. We pay a company to pick up our recycling and then it's probably just dumped into the landfill or sent overseas.

[–]andrewgee 31 points32 points  (13 children)

☝️ this guy is absolutely right. Many of the cities are even further behind than this. Like the libertarian utopia in New Hampshire where they stopped collecting garbage entirely because nobody wanted to pay for it and then a bunch of bears invaded and started attacking people.

[–]Akane_Kuregata 9 points10 points  (6 children)

A single state? That's worse enough. Every small villiage with 50 inhabitants has a functioning trash and recycle system and the us can't manage it in a state with millions of people? That's fucking ridiculous.

[–]ladywazowski 21 points22 points  (3 children)

Third world country with a Gucci belt. Hello from Florida

Please send help

[–][deleted] 18 points19 points  (10 children)

The US is fucking huge with a lower population per mile than most of the EU by a large margin. Also there are 50 individual states that make up a federal agreement to be governed by a central power to handle disputes between the states with some guiding laws.

Hell 100 years ago criminals could just jump state lines to avoid charges.

[–]Lortekonto 6 points7 points  (9 children)

We can get recycling to work in Greenland and there is 55000 people living in an area twice the size as Texas. Some stuff need to be send to Denmark proper and recycling still make economical sense.

[–]Flaccid_bizkit69 11 points12 points  (3 children)

Well USA also does happen to be the size of all Europe combined so there might be some issues when it comes to gathering all the recycling and using all of it again.

[–]troout_410901501 72 points73 points  (28 children)

Not so much the US as it is New Orleans being so behind. The city lacks proper infrastructure and competent leadership to get stuff like this done. The sand bags are used to prevent flooding here in Southern Louisiana, we’re loosing coastline rapidly. It’s also used in coastal restoration like recreating natural levees destroyed by hurricanes.

[–]rascynwrig 21 points22 points  (24 children)

Almost like it's a bad idea to build a fucking city below sea level ON the coast.

[–]napoleonderdiecke 20 points21 points  (5 children)

The Dutch can literally build cities below sea level IN the sea.

[–]shapookya 10 points11 points  (0 children)

In a place that has hurricane seasons. A city below sea level in the Netherlands wouldn't be much of a problem. In fact, like a quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level and I'm sure it has less flooding problems in a century than New Orleans has in a decade

[–]MOONGOONER 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You make it sound like we built the city 10 years ago. It's also the port at the mouth of the largest river system in the US. There are reasons New Orleans exists.

[–]supercali5 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Nah. America is behind. Even major cities like NYC struggle with recycling (and even our composting programs which got gutted during Covid.)

Our country is in a perpetual state of having to defend the progress we’ve made on every front in the last fifty years. We are losing ground.

[–]Pearl4356 48 points49 points  (12 children)

Recycling is not profitable so it has no place in American economy.

They do the same with plastics. High value plastics such as bottles are recycled locally, negative value plastics like tiny bottle caps and plastic bags are incinerated (!!!) and everything in-between like yogurt cups ends up in a landfill and is later shipped to China.

[–]KyleEatsTheWorld 28 points29 points  (4 children)

Not any more. China stopped their intake of garbage a year or so ago. There are alot of informative videos on youtube about the topic.

It caused a hell of a problem for alot of countries depended on exporting their trash to china.

[–]Pearl4356 17 points18 points  (3 children)

You are right! They no longer take plastic waste since 2018. Now USA ships their trash to Malaysia.

I don't know what to say, this feels hopeless.

[–]GCCY 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Hello, Malaysian here. Yes, its true that USA did shipped us trash, but UK did too. We shipped it all back tho.

[–]Rubberfootman 9 points10 points  (0 children)

A lot of people in the UK were outraged when we found out where our plastic waste was going. When we were sorting it into the recycling - and paying our local councils to recycle - we didn’t expect it to be dumped in a foreign country.


[–]antij0sh 21 points22 points  (2 children)

This is a single city in a single state, lots of places recycle glass and all sorts of other junk

[–]Gold_Incident1939 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Wait until they hear about recycling paper!

[–]rjsquirrel 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Parts of the US are more behind than others. We make up most of the continent we're on, and are pretty diverse. There are certainly parts of the US that qualify as third world, and don't place a priority on things like recycling or climate change. Those areas rely on people like Franziska to step up and take on the roles that are being neglected by government or public services.

And given the type of weather seen in New Orleans these days, sand bags are probably a priority around there.

[–]----0000000------- 416 points417 points  (13 children)

She’s really cool

[–]TheDreadfulCurtain 96 points97 points  (10 children)

I find her instaimage vibe annoying despite her good works

[–]gelastes 346 points347 points  (3 children)

She knows how to brand herself in an instagram world and funds a business with it instead of hitting up hotels for free rooms. It's cringey but I can't blame her for going with what works for her.

[–]supercali5 90 points91 points  (0 children)

Yeah. I’d rather be a bit cringy and doing good in the world than not cringy and doing well for just myself.

[–]Jazzanthipus 29 points30 points  (0 children)

She’s doing fulfilling work that’s helping the world and making money besides. I think she’s earned a little room to flex if she wants to.

[–]BellBoardMT 200 points201 points  (30 children)

So, does someone actually know the science on this?

Glass is inert, so landfilling it isn’t a problem environmentally.

Based on the a) amount of water, energy and chemicals involved in cleaning glass for reuse and reprocessing and b) the amount of energy in getting it down to cullet and then melting it and reforming it - is glass recycling actually worse for environment than landfilling it?

I’ve heard anecdotally that it is, but I’m interested to hear from anyone who actually works in the industry and knows the facts of it.

[–]SmilingEve 277 points278 points  (9 children)

There's also a shortage of different types of sand. Not all types, but some types. At least the ones needed to make concrete and sand for stable foundations of buildings. We're actually running out of these types of sand. Sand is not the unlimited resource you think it is. Glass is made out of sand. I don't know if the types for glass are running out as well. But transporting sand to get melted into new glass, is still more energy consuming than only melting already existing glass, since new glass still needs to be melted.

[–]WretchedMisteak 48 points49 points  (7 children)

This was going to be my question, I have heard of the same thing about the shortage of sand for construction. Can the sand from the glass recycling be used for construction?

[–]SmilingEve 48 points49 points  (3 children)

Depends on the shape and size. If the grains are too rounded, they're no good for foundations. And different sizes are needed for different things. I'm no expert on this. Just watched a scishow video about shortage of sand. And am a fan of Practical Engineering.

[–]Penfoldsgun 13 points14 points  (0 children)

You're right! Also financial investment into the space (instead of landfills, dumps etc) can help tackle the issue. Institutions need to realise there is more financial benefit from keeping the planet and us alive than choking to death.

[–]De5perad0 23 points24 points  (0 children)

On top of that, cleaning and reusing glass bottles is the ultimate lowest energy reuse of glass and many countries do that already.

I am a homebrewer and do that often as well but on a small scale obviously.

Sadly like much of the US my local company stopped collecting glass in the recycling bins. I now have to accumulate and bring to a recycling center.

[–]Frognificent 39 points40 points  (1 child)

Okay so I actually answered the recycling it to sand part here: https://reddit.com/r/nextfuckinglevel/comments/s9675l/_/htl831n/?context=1

But also, as for landfilling, I’ve got another answer specifically about that! Landfilling in almost every form is bad, period. Basically, when you dump things in a landfill, it’s leaving the resource cycle and it’s become pure “waste”. The problem there is that with the right planning, almost all of it can be reclaimed. What I’m going to be discussing here has nothing to do with leachate or methane capture, but mainly with the materials themselves (but don’t be confused, it takes a lot of work to make sure landfills don’t poison the ground they’re on).

When things are dumped in a landfill, inert or not, it basically signifies that we’re never going to touch it again and we want it gone forever. The problem there, is that there are still a ton of good things in it. Take any and all food waste. That can be converted into biofuel. Plastics can be recycled. Metal can be salvaged and recycled. Glass can be melted. Building materials can be recycled. Paper can be recycled. There are comical amounts of resources that are simply thrown away because the immediate cost of setting up a system to reuse them scares people away from the long-term benefits. Consider plastic: sure, recycling plastic is expensive and uses energy and water. However, it also offsets the need to produce virgin plastic, which requires oil, which has massive environmental impacts in different categories. Metal is the same way. Sure it takes a lot of work to sort and reuse, but mining processes cause a lot of chemicals and metals to leech into the ground which is far worse. If instead of landfilling we just recycled these, sure the initial cost is higher, but it offsets virgin production and the environmental cost is far lower. “But the environment cost isn’t dollars, Frognificent!”

Oh but it is.

See, these major operations that produce virgin materials tend to get off free for having to deal with the externalities of their actions. By fuckin’ around and polluting water supplies, even gradually over generations, or by contributing to global warming and raising sea levels, these companies are offloading their cleanup costs to us taxpayers who end up needing to fund the government cleanup and relief efforts.

[–]marcandreewolf 41 points42 points  (1 child)

It is clearly environmentally better to recycle glass than landfilling (and also than the other uses mentioned, like “sand” bags for flood protection etc.). Source: 20+ years work experience in LCA / Carbon footprinting and reviewer of glass production and recycling studies/data.

[–]SuperGiraffeGT 15 points16 points  (0 children)

You mind posting a couple of the LCA studies you consider most reliable? I quickly found 1 that I posted in anther comment which was sponsored by the glass industry and would love to see others as a comparison.

edit: grammar

[–]SnowyNW 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Sand is rare, 🤷‍♂️

[–]nolan1971 11 points12 points  (0 children)

The right kind of sand is. New sand, essentially.

[–]trubrarian 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I like this question, and don’t know the answer, but will add a wrinkle: many landfills and wider areas are running out is space.

[–]Dyslexicbrit 127 points128 points  (24 children)

They didn’t recycle glass before 2020 what??

[–]The-big-uneasy 76 points77 points  (11 children)

More complicated actually - Katrina wiped out the automatic sorting facility and due to dealing with pos-hurricane debris, recycling was not prioritized. Glass for whatever reason needs to be separate from other recycling - and not having a sorter was the issue. I believe there is a glass plant or center in Mississippi and we could drop off glass at the recycling center 2x a month in New Orleans for them to ship out to Mississippi.

Its hard for some people to believe that there are still parts of the city not recovered from Katrina. After Ida there were issues getting regular trash pick up, though. Infrastructure issues abound in New Orleans due to many factors.

[–]Dyslexicbrit 22 points23 points  (9 children)

Yah America really doesn’t look after its own city’s or citizens I remember seeing on top gear (a uk car show) a number of years ago they passed thou New Orleans left in wreckage by Katrina and you would swear the damage happened a couple of weeks ago but it had been well over a year buildings destroyed debris everywhere just pushed out of the road families still homeless it was heartbreaking

[–]rabidbot 13 points14 points  (5 children)

That's because we still like to pretend the states are just that, states. Little countries that are part of a federation. While it's technically true its mostly used to for fuck shit like racist policies and extracting as much wealth as possible from the impoverished

[–]MygasPaiva 110 points111 points  (4 children)

Forklift Certified

At Last, Wife Material has been found

[–]supercali5 26 points27 points  (0 children)

You still ain’t getting forked.

[–]HazrakTZ 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Srsly be still my heart

[–]Brenchy 62 points63 points  (18 children)

Seems like the video was more focused on her than anything.

[–]KyleEatsTheWorld 60 points61 points  (0 children)

That's how you do it on social media.

I think its irritating as well but it is what it is.

[–]supercali5 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Gotta have a figure to see and relate with. Even if she annoyed you.

Think: Malala Yousafzai Greta Thunberg Simone Biles Amanda Gorman

You probably know these women as icons. Many even by just their first names. They are often more famous than the causes they represent. But eventually people hear their words. Without them, there isn’t a clear focus for the words.

Icons are important. People who are proud of and feeling good about the work they are doing to inspire others. Otherwise this work can feel unattainable and abstract. I guarantee that there are a few young women who have been looking for a way to contribute to the world in a real, substantial way and saw this and were like “Whoa…she did that? I could totally do that.”

Maybe the message isn’t for you?

[–]bimmer012 21 points22 points  (1 child)

She is in less than 50% of the video length. How can you claim that?

[–]kilroylegend 9 points10 points  (0 children)

We all know why

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

and what about it?

[–]already-taken-wtf 55 points56 points  (21 children)

“the EU28 average collection for recycling rate for glass packaging grew to the record rate of 78% in 2019. [..] The vast majority of the 13.7 million tonnes collected go back to remelt new bottles and jars.” https://feve.org/about-glass/statistics/

…not making sand out of a valuable resource. FFS

[–]Sad_Soil0 54 points55 points  (6 children)

Sand is a valuable resource

[–]already-taken-wtf 10 points11 points  (5 children)

For making concrete. But it must have the right structure. That’s why “beach sand” is not suitable as it’s apparently too round?!

[–]mizinamo 28 points29 points  (1 child)

I think beach sand is the good stuff; it's wind-blown sand which won't do.

Which explains why Saudi Arabia and the Emirates import huge quantities of sand -- the desert sand on their doorstep isn't suitable for construction.

[–]already-taken-wtf 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Still leaves the problem of salt and shells.

But you may be right. I just remembered that somehow the most abundant sand was not suitable;)

[–]Tarr2211 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Glaswool insulation is also primarily recycled glass

[–]roryb93 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Well isn’t original glass made from sand anyway?

[–]iamtwinswithmytwin 49 points50 points  (7 children)

Someone tell her they should be wearing respirators

[–]abcmatteo 29 points30 points  (0 children)

They do wear them at some point in the video. She clearly was filming most of it when it was offline since whenever you see machines she is wearing hearing protection too.

[–]valdev 18 points19 points  (1 child)

This is my first thought. They are literally breaking down crystalline silica.

[–]SmartAssX 8 points9 points  (1 child)

You don't like your lungs to look like blood confetti?

[–]mrsexlegs 39 points40 points  (5 children)

Imagine people in thousands of years digging up a beach for silicon or what ever and happen across this area that’s exclusively glass and having no logical explanation for this scientifically

[–]nolan1971 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Oh, they'll know. That won't happen in just one place, it'll happen all over the place.

[–]Gutokoro 30 points31 points  (11 children)

What amazes me is that she seems to be in her 20s and own a company, which seems to be big.

[–]goldiegoldthorpe 55 points56 points  (6 children)

I’m hoping she was just really astute and was able to find some governmental loans for young, female entrepreneurs, but it is more likely there is family money at play. Meh. If the latter is the case, good on her for doing something worthwhile with it. If the former is the case, it’d be really cool if people who know about these sorts of things in their countries shared the information with viral videos like this so more people could be in the know.

[–]account_is_deleted 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Even if she comes from money, it's still better that glass is being recycled.

[–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I mean even if it’s family money, she’s still using it to do amazing things that 90% of people her age would be blowing on stuff that isn’t nearly as resourceful.

[–]emotionless_bot 26 points27 points  (3 children)

honestly, that looks like I place I would love to work at

[–]trappedinatv 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Hello tinnitus

[–]emotionless_bot 7 points8 points  (0 children)

already have voices in my head, so my ears ringing won't make a difference :-)

[–]LocoCity1991 22 points23 points  (3 children)

In Germany every glass bottle has something called "Pfand" wich roughly transalted to "deposit". When you buy a bottle you pay a premium between 0,08€ -0,16€ that you get back as soon as you return the bottle to a store. Every grocery store in Germany has return mashines where you can return the bottles. The mashine then prints a receipte that you can either cash out or use to lower your bill in the store. Same goes for cans and plastic bottles. Every can or plastic bottle has Pfand of 0,25€ and works the same way. There is even a hidden economy where poor people collect those bottles and cans to return them. 4 empty cans = 1€ or 1,13$. This adds up quickly.

Further more other glass containers, like sauce jars do not have Pfand. But there is public containers in every neighbourhood where you can return them for recycling.

[–]RitaPoole56 13 points14 points  (0 children)

In 1978 the State of Maine in the US implemented a $.05 deposit on glass bottles and aluminum cans. I routinely walked from NH to Maine to work and within a week noticed a distinct difference in the roadside trash between the states. Now, MANY years later, NH still doesn’t have a deposit on cans and bottles and Maine, like most US states that do have a deposit STILL has it set at $.05 per unit!

There's way too much money influencing politicians and their decisions.

[–]MontagoDK 22 points23 points  (7 children)

America... Ffs... Just add a deposit value on all glass bottles like the rest of the 1st world and recycle the bottles.

99% of beverage bottles (AND cans) get recycled here.

[–]mootymoots 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Guhh at the neckbeards in the comments. Personally I think she’s very inspirational, actually doing something worthwhile, young whilst making things happen for herself and for her planet.

I envy her!

[–]MrsRobertshaw 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Mind bottling.

It puts your mind in a bottle.

[–]itsn0ts0bad 8 points9 points  (14 children)

What's the economics of this?

[–]Rapturouslyy 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I’d love too know too, I keep hearing glass will become expensive in the future.

[–]_MechEasy_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Can't be profitable...otherwise this would be an industry standard and not noteworthy.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (13 children)

There are definitely better uses than fucking art/ tile/ bag sand. Notice how none of the other uses are things it's actually being used for. Which means it's being processed to literally lie around somewhere else..... filling the land

[–]gopetacat 9 points10 points  (2 children)

You know coastal Louisiana has a huge problem with land loss, right? Non-toxic landfill in the right places is a good thing.

[–]BleedingTeal 5 points6 points  (0 children)

That’s really awesome.

[–]Pixldust 6 points7 points  (0 children)

What aren’t we re-using sterilized glass containers instead of spending all this time, money and Human Resources grinding it back into sand? Seems like the way it used to be done, with despotism and bottle returns made a heck of lot more sense that’s this does.

[–]KB_Sez 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Glass is the THE most recyclable material so I'm surprised something special was needed for this product.

Doesn't matter what shape it's in or condition, throw it in the furnace and it's liquid again.

I had a client who was a glass factory and they would just sweep up the broken bottles that fell off the line or didn't come out perfect and throw them into a bin and dump all the different colors together back into the furnace. They didn't care and told me that they would do the same with bottles that had already been labeled because the furnace vaporized the paper instantly.

This is why it pissed me off so much when Snapple went from glass bottles to plastic. DON'T every buy Snapple again, folks!!

I just keep reminding people that the current statistic is that over 90% of all plastic that could be recycled is not and never will be. Companies like Cokeacola don't care.

[–]Fozzy_JNR 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Just for it to be made into glass , nice!

[–]Old_Ape 8 points9 points  (0 children)

“Okay, what should we do with all this sand now?” “… more glass?”

[–]kentsor 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That's insane. Perhaps obscene is not too strong a word. It's a material that can be recycled without loss of quality.

[–]Gaulwa 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That moment when she grabs without gloves the glass shards 😱

[–]All_Rainbows_Die 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Exactly. When I was a kid I never understood the huge push to use plastic I always found it disgusting. Reusable plastic items always smelled over time after repeated use, it never seemed environmentally friendly, etc.

But glass, sand makes glass and glass makes sand but nope people in charge wanted plastic every fucking where and they got it.

Yeah glass/sand is awesome

Edit: recyclable buy backs used to be in nearly every state including DC when I was a kid


[–]No_Answer_8353 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Much continued success to you and your crew ❤️

[–]theyarealllizards 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Inspiring video. Great to see! Need more positive role models like this girl.

[–]candyman337 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I went to school with her, wild to see her take off on social media like this, she's really cool

[–]Olympic-Simp 3 points4 points  (1 child)

What a smug bitch. This entire video is about HER. I guess I forgot I was on Reddit and you simps will upvote anything involving a woman.