Wanna Save New Zealand's Beaches? Throw Back A Beer

Brilliance | Dec. 17, 2017

Drinking a beer could help save the planet. Okay, that's a bit sensational, but it's not far off the mark. The New Zealand beer company DB Export has created a machine that pulverizes beer bottles into sand substitute. With the world facing a sand shortage, that's something to toast to.

Smash A Beer, Save The Beach

According to a report in the New York Times, the world uses more sand than any other natural resource except water and air. Knowing that, then, it's not hard to believe the world is facing a sand shortage. It is a nonrenewable resource, after all. But what do we actually use sand for? Well, sand gives us asphalt, concrete, glass, and more—all essential parts of the modern world. (Side note: The world is all set with desert sand, but unfortunately the desert stuff is too round to be used in construction.) Two-thirds of the world's beaches are retreating, but one New Zealand company is combatting this environmental issue with beer.

DB Exports (in collaboration with the agency Colenso BBDO, Auckland) has created a fleet of machines that pulverize empty beer bottles in just five seconds. The result is a beautiful, powdery white pile of finely ground glass sand that is usable in a variety of settings. Here's how it works, described by CampaignBrief: "The Beer Bottle Sand Machines reduce an empty bottle of DB Export into sand substitute in just 5 seconds. As the bottle is inserted, a laser triggers a wheel of small steel hammers spinning at 2800rpm. As the bottle is pulverised a vacuum system removes silica dust and plastic labels, leaving behind 200 grams of sand substitute." Oh, make sure to drink all the beer first, but that shouldn't be a problem...

Walking On Broken Glass

The company isn't creating sand for beaches—the beer bottle sand will help natural sand stay on the Kiwi shores where it belongs. DB Export Beer Bottle Sand can be used in concrete, roading, golf bunkers, landscaping and a host of other applications, according to the DB Export site. The company has a deal supplying their bottle sand to Drymix, New Zealand's biggest producer of bagged concrete. The project also helps keep glass bottles out of the trash. In New Zealand, one in every four beer bottles ends up in a landfill. The environmental implications of this project are exciting, but, honestly, seeing a bottle getting crushed into dust sounds really cool too.

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