Many people are considering switching to laminated glass because they believe it is more eco-friendly. But how true is this claim? Is laminated glass eco-friendly?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, because lamination uses a process where two layers of non-toxic, heat-resistant plastic are fused together, and not because the lamination process itself releases emissions.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss lamination and its effect on the environment.

What Is Laminated Glass and Is It Eco-Friendly?

Laminated glass is a type of safety glass that has an interlayer of plastic film to provide protection from shattering. It also helps reduce the transmission of light and sound, making it more energy-efficient. But does laminated glass have any environmental benefits? 

Laminated glasses are created using polyvinyl butyral (PVB), which is typically made with bromine gas as a catalyst. PVB’s production process uses high temperatures to ensure the chemicals react properly, so there is an increased chance for global warming emissions during production.

In addition, since laminated glasses are often used in commercial buildings or skyscrapers, they can contribute to the urban heat island effect – where dense development and paved surfaces make cities warmer than the rural areas.

Is Traditional Glass More Eco-Friendly than Laminated Glass?

It’s hard to say which is better for the environment because it really depends on your measuring factors such as materials used and recycling potential. While laminated glass offers more benefits, traditional glass proves to be more eco-friendly, based on the recycling process. 

Glass is easily recyclable with little loss of quality or purity, while laminates have a lower chance of being recycled.

To recycle laminated glasses, they must be crushed, and the impurities separated. Currently, there is no equipment to separate the impurities in laminated glass, a reason why it can not be recycled.

How Then is Laminated Glass Eco-Friendly?

When it comes to sustainability and environmental friendliness of materials used in construction, people often focus on renewable resources that will last a long time, like trees.

However, when you’re thinking about sustainable building products for your home with an eye towards energy efficiency and safety, then laminated glass becomes eco-friendly.

Insulation

Laminated glass is a type of windshield and window that’s made up of two layers. The interior layer, or “air space,” surrounds the exterior surface with an adhesive sealant in between to prevent any air leakage. Laminated glass is, therefore, eco-friendly because it saves energy by reducing heat loss.

When you have a laminated glass window in a cold season, you’ll be saving a lot of energy since laminated glass helps with insulation. You, therefore, don’t need to have your heating devices turned on throughout.

Durability

While laminated glass is regarded as non-recyclable, its durability prevents the need for recycling. What I mean is, you only need to recycle glass when it’s broken, right? But laminated glass is durable and has lower chances of shattering on impact compared to traditional glass.

If it doesn’t break, it doesn’t need recycling, so its durability beats the need for recycling and, therefore, is eco-friendly.

Materials Used

Laminated glass is created using PVB, which has been touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to vinyl chloride due to its minimal toxic properties and ability to resist degradation by sunlight. PVB can be used in many products such as pipes for water delivery systems without posing any environmental risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Glass Is Eco-friendly?

Fiberglass is the most eco-friendly type of glass. Fiberglass windows are made of glass particles bound together by resin. This material, which is eco-friendly and energy-efficient, earns the Energy Star rating seal as well as LEED certification for sustainability because it does not contain any hazardous substances that could contaminate water sources over time.

Are Glass Walls Eco Friendly?

Glass walls may not be the most common choice for office design, but they could soon become your go-to material. Glass surfaces have no waste and keep their shape over time with no maintenance; glass is also recyclable, so it’s a green way of achieving an eco-friendly look.

Glass also has high thermal insulation ratings, which means you’re saving money on your heating bills all year long!

Is Laminated Glass Same as Tempered Glass

Laminated glass and tempered glass are vastly different from one another. Laminated glasses offer several advantages over other types, such as stability, safety factors in the case of break-ins or falls, and sound insulation qualities. 

Tempered Glass also offers these benefits but is stronger than laminate, so it can withstand more impact.

Does Glass Cause Pollution?

Glass is made from sand, and it takes 10-12 tons of CO2 emissions per bottle to make one tonne of glass. This makes for an excessive amount of gas being released into Earth’s atmosphere each year because even though recycling rates have significantly increased over the years, they still account only for up to about 40% overall production rate (the balance presumably ending up as trash).

References

https://www.spaceplus.com/design-blog/how-partial-glass-partitions-are-environmentally-friendly
https://www.phantomscreens.com/resource/eco-friendly-window-materials/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/laminated-glass
https://www.riotglass.com/laminated-vs-tempered-glass/
https://www.gpi.org/glass-recycling-facts