Windscreen replacement isn’t as easy as you might think and it’s not just the replacement itself that makes it so! When the deal is done and your new windscreen is in place, what happens to the old broken one?
That’s a great question, and it’s a question that people are starting to ask more and more. As we all grow conscious of our impact on the environment, it’s nice to know what happens to our waste. So we’ve put together some information on the journey of your old windscreen, after it’s been replaced.
Old windscreens used to end up in landfill, but that’s starting to change
Until recently, a lot of old windscreens used to end up in landfill. And that sounds pretty strange – surely it would be easy to recycle a big piece of glass? But it’s actually a bit of a challenge, and we’ll talk about that shortly. As you can imagine, sending old windscreens to landfill is not very environmentally friendly. The glass takes a long time to break down and it can cause problems as a result. So those in the recycling industry took it upon themselves to find a solution. And they did! So now, we are lucky enough to be able to send off old windscreens for recycling instead.
Recycling windscreens is much better for the environment, but it’s not easy
Glass can take an incredibly long time to break down. And that means that tiny fragments of glass will circulate our ecosystem for many years to come, unless we recycle it. But when it comes to windscreens, there was a bit of a setback. Windscreens are made to be tough; after all, they have to withstand a lot of pressure out on the roads. To make them as strong as they need to be, the automotive industry developed auto glass, which uses some impressive technology to guarantee your safety on the road. However this technology proved problematic during the recycling process.
The main problem with recycling windscreens is the laminate
The particular issue with recycling windscreens was the laminate. Windscreens are made from laminated glass, which uses a layer of specialised plastic to strengthen the glass and prevent it from shattering. The glass recycling machines couldn’t process this layer of laminate effectively with the glass on either side of it. As a result, windscreens could not be recycled; hence they were sent to landfill instead. But don’t worry – there is a solution!
Thankfully, some companies have developed the technology to recycle windscreens
Before long, it became clear that something had to be done about recycling windscreens. So the recycling industry came up with the solution: a new technique of recycling that separates the glass in windscreens from the laminate. The end product is clean pulverized glass, separated from pieces of plastic laminate.
Thanks to windscreen recycling, your old windscreen can be repurposes after it’s replaced!
The pulverised glass that comes from recycled windscreens is very versatile. Ultimately, it is the product that gets repurposed. And there are a lot of ways it can be repurposed. That basically means that your old windscreen might come back as anything from concrete, to fibreglass installation. In fact, your old windscreen might even find its way back to the road in the form of asphalt! So next time you have to get your windscreen replaced, you can breathe a little easier knowing that it won’t be hanging around in landfill for millennia to come. And that’s another benefit of getting your windscreen replaced professionally. With professional windscreen replacement, you don’t have to worry about disposing of your windscreen responsibly. Someone else will do it for you!