Udit Singhal, a high school student in Delhi, initiated a project-- Glass2Sand-- that aims at reducing the environmental impact of non-recycled glass bottles. The project is in collaboration with the New Zealand High Commission. It is an initiative to reduce glass waste by collecting discarded glass bottles and crushing them into sand.
Singhal, a business student, looks for unique opportunities and projects that can benefit society. He collects glass bottles from High Commissions and Hotels; which are then crushed in a specialized machine manufactured by a New Zealand company--Kiwi company Expleco Ltd. The machine was purchased and brought to India with the help of a grant provided by the New Zealand High Commission.
The sand produced from recycled bottles is not just beneficial for the environment but would also be useful for the construction industry. The machine produces sand from a bottle within seconds without removing labels. Udit explains, “The only process required is 'sieving' in order to take away paper particles." Sand from crushed bottles is better than the normal sand used. The sand produced from crushed glass bottles is stronger than the ordinary sand used in construction because of its high silica content. "It has 76% Silica, therefore, holds better with bricks and concrete, and that’s the difference we bring with this sand,” he added.
Another positive aspect of this initiative is that crushing of bottles reduces space taken up in the landfills by 90%. Recycling glass bottles into sand would not only reduce waste but would also save up space in the landfill areas.
Joanna Kempkers, the New Zealand High Commissioner to India, said that she is very happy to support this project.
Glass2Sand project is aiming at reducing the waste and providing stable income to ragpickers. The project is also looking forward to sharing the innovation with other companies, hotels, restaurants; and create a market for the sand made by recycled bottles.
The innovation used for this project has a user-friendly interface and has more durability. The machine produced in New Zealand has been exported to at least 70 countries and costs 4000 New Zealand Dollars each. Glass2Sand is a promising project, however, the initiative has a long way to go since it is yet to identify suitable buyers and create demand in the market.