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The Business intends to solve environmental concerns created by the non-treatment of waste and rag-picker exploitation by tackling the problem of recycling discarded glass bottles and crushing them into fine sand.
Udit Singhal, a New Delhi high school student, began an effort to reduce the environmental impact of unrecycled glass bottles. He sourced the glass bottles and crushed them into fine sand (Silica) using a machine designed in New Zealand, which he purchased and brought to India with the assistance of the New Zealand High Commission. The company collects waste from rag pickers as well as households and crushes it into silica sand, which is then used in environmentally friendly buildings.
The idea of ‘’kabaadi vala’’ is well-known in India. They used to take glass bottles and offer customers a fixed amount in exchange. In 2018-2019, “I discovered that glass was no longer being collected, and further investigation revealed that glass, as a heavy commodity, has high transportation costs and that due to new taxation laws and government regulations, all of the recycling plants near Delhi had been relocated, resulting in glass ending up in the landfill" recounts Udit. Furthermore, glass takes a million years to degrade, whereas plastic takes 1000 years. As a result, glass in landfills is significantly more hazardous. Many people are unaware of this fact, as everyone Udit spoke with thought glass was recyclable. After doing some research and with the help of the New Zealand high commission, they were able to purchase the machinery and started converting glass bottles into sand.
Glass2Sand addresses the issue of growing glass bottle waste and aims to reduce the disposal of glass bottles in landfills as it takes around a million years to decompose. The company helps the rag-pickers by collecting glass waste from them and providing them with the right price for the bottles. The silica, which is produced by crushing glass bottles, is used in the construction of roads, buildings, and other related activities. Up to this point, 30,666 kg of high-grade silica has been produced and used in road building, furnace lining, and other construction-related activities. So far, 51,111 bottles have been saved from being disposed of in landfills.
The glass bottles are converted into sand (Silica) ranging from super soft, beach-like sand to glass gravel. The final products are used for coastal restoration projects, disaster relief efforts, eco-construction, new glass products, and so much more. The applications for sand are truly endless [Glass Half Full. Available at: https://glasshalffullnola.org/ (Accessed: November 30, 2022)]. Sandbags are also vital for levee maintenance because they can be used to prevent overflow, manipulate the direction of water flow, absorb seepage, and structural fortification. Glass2Sand's sand is sourced sustainably — not mined and extracted from public commons — and donated or sold to those in need of this critical resource. Sand extraction and production is a $70+ billion/year industry, and they aim to bring this lucrative, growing field to New Orleans. They have the opportunity to create jobs and industry locally, all while providing an ethical and sustainable alternative to ecologically harmful sand-mining and extraction practices.
Glass2Sand has become a ‘’carbon negative’’ initiative. The company aims to solve the problem of how the sand is extracted. Techniques like dredging and mining used in sand extraction disrupt local ecosystems, lead to coastal erosion, and cost millions of dollars annually. The silica sand produced can be used in many ways and does not adversely impact the environment. The sand produced replaces the high-end value raw materials thus reducing the dependence on machinery and transportation and hence reducing the carbon emissions. Glass2Sand achieves the following SDGs:
Goal -11 Sustainable Cities and Communities Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
Goal -12 Responsible Consumption and Production Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Goal -15 Life on Land Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, combat desertification and halt biodiversity loss.
Udit Singhal, Founder
Glass2Sand intends to solve environmental concerns created by the non-treatment of waste as well as rag-picker exploitation by tackling the problem of recycling discarded glass bottles and crushing them into fine sand.
It's founder, a New Delhi high school student, began an effort to reduce the environmental impact of unrecycled glass bottles. He sourced the glass bottles and crushed them into fine sand (Silica) using a machine designed in New Zealand, which he purchased and brought to India with the assistance of the New Zealand High Commission. The company collects waste from rag pickers and households then crushes it into silica sand. The end product is then used in environmentally friendly buildings.