Difference between glass and crystal

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Have you ever gone to a store to buy a set of glasses? If you have, you probably think that there is no difference between glass and glassware. You could have even ordered them from the store either way. And you will have bought the same set of glasses. However, there are differences between glass and glassware.

Why is it important to know this difference? Because one of the materials is recyclable and the other is not. If you’re interested in knowing which material is best to use to help the planet, read on.

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Differences between glass and crystal

1. Composition

Firstly, glass is a material obtained by melting silica sand with a mineral at very high temperatures. This allows that, during the process of creation of the glass, it can be given different and varied forms. Crystals, on the other hand, are solids that are formed in nature. That is to say, you can get crystals without having to create them by means of some industrial process. Crystals are formed from the solidification of substances in a gaseous state inside rocks.

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However, a substance whose composition is very similar to that of glass is also known as crystal. This substance, however, has lead dioxide. Lead dioxide makes its composition more similar to natural crystal than to glass; the substance is commonly known as crystal.

2. Which of the two materials is recyclable?

This is one of the most notable differences. The material that can be recycled is glass. Glass is the result of cooling a mixture of materials that have been melted at high temperatures. Therefore, it can be remelted and reshaped.

On the other hand, crystal cannot be recycled. Although its composition is very similar to that of glass, lead oxide melts at different temperatures than the rest of the glass components. This is why it cannot be melted down and reshaped.

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Be sure to use the proper recycling containers for both glass and crystal. Glass has a unique container. You can throw the crystal in the container where the non-recyclable waste goes. However, in both cases, make sure you put them in the right containers. Remember that both glass and crystal can break and cause damage to the people in charge of the waste.

3. Uses of glass and crystal

At home you can find various objects made of both glass and crystal. You can find glass jars of food such as jams and fruits in syrup. You can also find juice bottles or glass bottles.

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If you are looking for everyday glass objects, you will find plates, glasses and cups. Remember that, as we mentioned before, this material is not recyclable. If any of your dishes or glasses break, make sure you secure the right container to dispose of the waste. Make sure you use the container for non-recyclable waste.


With this information, you know the difference between glass and crystal. In terms of practical uses, the difference may not be noticeable. You can probably still use glass and crystal as terms with the same meaning. However, you know that it is important to take the material into account when you recycle. Here we have talked about which objects in your house are probably made of glass and which are made of glass.

We hope we have been helpful. Tell us in the comments if you knew there were differences between glass and crystal. Also tell us if you are careful about recycling these materials.

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