Sea glass is created when the oceans turn glass, that has been broken and discarded as waste, into little treasures you might find along the beach.
Unfortunately, throughout history, glass has ended up in our oceans, items such as bottles, drinking glasses, or even glass from shipwrecks! However, unlike plastic waste which does not decompose, glass is mainly made out of sand! So, eventually it is broken down into tiny pieces and erodes back into sand, a process that can take hundreds of years. However, this does not mean you should ever throw glass into our oceans! Broken glass is very sharp and can pose a significant threat to sea creatures and humans.
As the broken glass rolls and tumbles around in the ocean over time, it starts to gain its new characteristic texture and shape which is smooth, rounded and has a frosted appearance because of the salt! Often these pieces of glass wash up on shore and these are referred to as sea glass as they look like little jewels among the sand.
Sometimes they are also called ‘ocean glass’ or ‘mermaid tears.’
Because glass bottles and other items made out of glass come in many different colours, this means that there are many colours to look for. The most common colours are white, green and brown however, you might come across light orange, blue or even yellow coloured glass.
These pieces can be made into beautiful jewellery, to decorate photo frames, vases, ornaments and art.
It can be so much fun to go looking for sea glass and sometimes you just get a little hint of what that glass used to be. Here we have a piece that has the soft, rounded edges with frosted glass but the words ‘refill’ retained on it. This could have been a glass bottle that could be refilled with juice or water to be used again and again many years ago!
Our oceans are awesome, let’s all protect them!