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Glass Bottles and Jars

In this film we introduce you to the chemical ingredients of glass and mix them with the all-important 'cullet', the recycled glass from our bottle banks. In contrast to the marble factory, production here is on an industrial scale. The furnace produces a steady stream of runny glass that is cut into red-hot 'gobs' by a massive shearing machine. Swiveling troughs then direct the gobs into the injection-moulded bottle maker. A brave factory worker, lost in the machinery, works around all the noise, heat and movement, and greases the moulds with his oily stick, taking special care not to burn his hands off in the red hot glass.

The secrets of injection moulding are revealed, and the bottles emerge in good shape to make their way along a conveyor, like soldiers on the march. The normally calm narrator is horrified, however, when he spots a lone bottle defiantly wandering off in the wrong direction!

Each bottle is given a coat of an almost unpronounceable chemical that toughens up the surface. Gas burners heat treat the bottles to reduce any internal stresses so they are less easily smashed. A camera checks for faults, and bottles that fail inspection are blasted off the line with a jet of high-pressure air. These will be added to the cullet collection and recycled in the next melt.

Our next port of call is the filling factory, where the bottles are washed and checked once again before being topped up with drink in a fast rotating filling machine. In quick succession the bottles are capped and sent for a nice hot germ-destroying shower, so the drink inside is guaranteed free from bugs.

But what's in the bottles whose progress we have been following? Well, you will have to watch the film, and see if you can tell when we get to the labeling machine!

Duration: 5:23

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This film is also available on the DVD:
'The Magic of Making - Volume 2'.