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Dec. 10, 2008

Whimsical YouTube video wins glass recycling day competition for MSU team

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Clearly, glass can’t recycle itself. That’s the message from four Michigan State University students whose YouTube video took first place in the Glass Packaging Institute’s Recycle Glass Day video competition.

The GPI planned to launch the winning video as a public service announcement today, Recycle Glass Day. Additionally, the GPI will present the winning students with a cash prize of $5,000, with another $5,000 going to the MSU School of Packaging.

The four winning seniors -- Jonathon Beach, Edmore, Mich.; Stephen Gizicki, Canton, Mich.; Joshua Lobert, Blanchard, Mich.; and Adam Simon, Edmore, Mich., are all packaging majors in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. They participated in the competition as part of a class led by packaging specialist and MSU professor Dennis Young.


“This opportunity resulted in great excitement, serious planning and creativity, and a number of excellent submissions to the contest,” Young said.


“It takes people to actually do their part to make the world better. Glass is a reusable material, so it’s important to recycle it,” Lobert added.

“This video reinforces the message that each of us must do our part to make recycling happen,” said Susan Selke, acting chairperson of the packaging school. “Glass is 100 percent recyclable, but only if it is delivered into a system that allows recycling to occur.”

The MSU winning video features stop-motion technology and the tagline “Glass can’t recycle itself.” Visit to view the video.

More than 80 packaging sciences students from six universities — California Polytechnic Institute, Clemson University, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Jose State University and Stout University of Wisconsin, in addition to MSU — participated. They created videos to help build national awareness about the benefits of glass container recycling to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environment.

“The winning MSU student video effectively communicates an environmental call to action for more Americans to commit to recycle their glass bottles and jars,” said Joseph Cattaneo, president of GPI. 


The videos were judged on originality and creativity, communication of the "glass message” and production technique and values.

For every 1 percent of recycled glass used, energy costs drop 0.5 percent, experts say. A 10 percent increase in recycled glass use decreases fossil fuel emissions by 2.5 percent and particulate emissions by 7 percent.

“Glass is 100 percent recyclable in a closed-loop system, and the use of recycled glass is a critical part of the manufacture of cradle-to-cradle glass containers,” Cattaneo said. “By spreading the word about the benefits of glass container recycling, we hope to increase the amount of quality glass for the manufacture of new bottles and jars and continue to improve our environmental footprint.”


To find out more about Recycle Glass Day and the GPI, visit




Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.