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Glass industry worldwide - statistics & facts

Glass is a (usually) transparent, non-crystalline amorphous solid that has many important applications in a variety of industries worldwide. Naturally occurring glass such as obsidian was used by humans during the Stone Age, and glassmaking began at least 6,000 years ago. Today, glass is known for its extensive use in windows and bottles. The most common types of glass are made primarily with soda ash and silica, as well as other additives. Recycled glass is also often used in the production of new glass.

Glass manufacturing processes

There are two main methods of producing glass. The first is the float glass process that is used to manufacture architectural glass, and the second is the glassblowing process that produces containers such as bottles and jars. The float glass process, also known as the Pilkington process, was developed by Sir Pilkington in 1952, and involves feeding a ribbon of molten glass from a furnace onto a bath of molten tin. This process produces a sheet of glass with a uniform thickness and a very smooth surface, which can be used to make windows and any other applications requiring flat sheets of glass. China is by far the largest producer of float glass, accounting for more than half of the global production volume from this method in 2019.

The glassblowing technique was first used around the first century BCE, and deals with the inflation of molten glass into a bubble by using a blowpipe. Throughout time, this process was further developed into two main techniques: mold blowing and free blowing. In 2020 the production volume of glass bottles and containers amounted to nearly 690 billion units worldwide.

Glass industry growth

The glass industry is continuously growing. The global market value of glass bottles and containers is expected to grow to 78.4 billion U.S. dollars by 2026, while the market volume is forecast to grow to over 920 billion units by the same year. As an infinitely recyclable, reusable, and more sustainable alternative to plastic packaging, glass is regaining some of its popularity in the packaging world, especially as many countries have placed bans and limitations on plastic packaging in recent years. Indeed, the market value of the glass packaging industry worldwide is expected to grow from 51.23 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 to 69.25 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Glass industry worldwide".

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