According to their study published in the upcoming December issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, large quantities of glass were recycled in Britain during the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D.
However, the reason why this happened was not due to environmental concerns, but rather the a shortage of raw glass in the northern regions of the Roman Empire during the last centuries of Roman rule.
In an interview with Discovery News Jackson says ‘it appears much of the glass reaching Britain in the late Roman period was manufactured from recycled material.’
Believed to have originated in Mesopotamia around 2500 B.C., the art of glass-making spread to Egypt. Thereafter the most significant technological revolution – glass blowing employing a tube – occurring in the 1st century B.C. in the area of Syria and Palestine. The Romans exploited the technique and glass-making spread throughout their empire.