US recycler Glass Half Full has announced plans to expand its operations in New Orleans with the construction of a US$1 million (EUR 880 000) recycling plant in the next two years.
Company co-founders Franziska Trautmann and Max Steitz say the business has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to realise this goal. A total of US$ 91 000 worth of donations has been collected so far. The recycling start-up, which opened doors in 2020, says it reached an important milestone last July; it has diverted one million pounds of post-consumer glass (mostly bottles and jars) from landfills.
Trautmann laments that currently only two cities in Louisiana recycle glass, and they collect only about 6% of available end-of-life material. The young entrepreneurs want to see this change and help improve glass recycling infrastructure throughout the state.
Recent company highlights include receiving the ‘Most Innovative Recycling Programme Award’ from non-profit organisation Keep Louisiana Beautiful in October. This accolade celebrates Glass Half Full’s collaboration with Tulane University – where both Trautmann and Steitz studied – which is doing an R&D project to convert recycled glass into sand for coastal restoration. This eco-conscious work is being funded (US$ 700 000) by the US National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator.
With the help of a team of 250 volunteers and artists in the area, Glass Half Full has also created a range of glass jewellery from recycled beer and wine bottles. Via its newly launched ‘Glassroots’ awareness programme, the start-up hopes to spread the recycling and sustainability message at schools and businesses in local communities.
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