Transforming Glass into Sand: Restoring the NOLA Coastline

How a New Orleans project that started in a backyard could help to restore their coastline.

An inspiring grassroots recycling project in New Orleans is collecting and crushing old glass bottles to create sand for the restoration of the Louisiana coastline!

Founded by Franziska Trautmann and Max Steitz after they became frustrated at the lack of accessible local glass bottle recycling facilities, Glass Half Full began by collecting and handcrushing glass bottles from friends and family with no real plan for what it would become.

Now, through their recycling process, they prevent used glass from landfills by converting it into pure, super-soft sand. This sand is used for disaster relief efforts, eco-construction and new glass products.

Louisiana has lost a quarter of its wetlands since the 1930s as a result of flood control structures designed to protect communities and businesses from flooding. However, this has also prevented the deposition of sediment into barrier islands and wetland areas by the Mississippi River’s spring floods, a natural process critical to the preservation of coastal areas.  The ultimate goal of Glass Half Full is to support the restoration of these fragile coastlines.

The project is growing from strength to strength and is now supported backed by a growing team of staff, volunteers, and NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) community members.

Do you know about an inspiring local project? Is there someone in your community taking action for the natural world? Please let us know!


Posted by Claire Edwards 16 August 2021

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