Turn used bottles into glasses

Whole, reclaimed bottles can be turned into elegant, useable glassware by inverting them and crafting the bottoms to the necks. The process is low-tech and can be performed as a small enterprise out of a converted shipping container.
The concept created much excitement at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in South Africa in 2 {mosimage}Whole, reclaimed bottles can be turned into elegant, useable glassware by inverting them and crafting the bottoms to the necks. The process is low-tech and can be performed as a small enterprise out of a converted shipping container.
The concept created much excitement at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in South Africa in 2002. It was hailed then as an ideal community project, generating both jobs and a cleaner environment.
Interest in the concept was renewed recently with the purchase of a container-plant by a regional authority in South Africa and the order of two more containers by a Nigerian businessman.
The Green Glass proprietary technology to manufacture glassware from discarded bottles was developed in 1992 by Johannesburg engineers Philip Tetley and Sean Penrith. To facilitate small enterprise, they designed and built a mini-plant in a 40ft trailer container which is capable of processing a few hundred bottles per day. The plant is mobile and can be positioned in either rural or urban area to recycle bottles from the waste stream.
The concept is proven. Penrith re-located to the US where he runs a large factory, capable of producing 11,000 units a day. A smaller factory has recently started production in the United Kingdom, under license from Green Glass, which hold world wide patent rights. Besides glasses, the off-shore factories successfully produce vases, caraffes and candle holders.
Tetley says converting bottles into glassware using Green Glass equipment is relatively straightforward. It is the marketing of the products which requires skill and knowledge, and in case of a community project should ideally, at least initially, be provided by the project’s financial backer.
A containerised plant costs around $80,000 and can produce up to 600 glasses per day, depending on style and decoration. It provides 6 to 10 jobs, depending on the level of decoration.
Tetley: Tel +27-12-205 1268; www.greenglass.com