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Glassmaking is a manufacturing technique that involves melting 75% silica (SiO2) plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives.
- Windows can be made using glass. This is useful as windows provide natural lightning and heat to buildings. The windows can also be foreseen of window coverings. Buildings include (but are not limited to) dwellings, greenhouses, ...
Alternatives to glass
High-strength plastic and/or plastic with a sufficient thickness are good alternatives to glass. Unlike glass, which is highly fragile, plastics will not break but bend. Ie in regards to the use of the material in windows, plastics are thus better suited. This, since they provide better protection (ie against burglary, vandalism, earthquakes, ...) and do not have a safety issue in case of breaking (ie no risk of shard dispersal). An other advantage is that plastics can be recovered from dump sites (at no financial cost), and they can also be reused over and over. A downside however is that non-biodegradable plastics can be very environmentally polluting (mostly in case of littering). This, as the material is not physically inert (unlike glass), floats on water, and as stated before, doesn't degrade naturally.