Science & Nature

Apr 1, 2017

DB BREWERY - FROM SAND TO GLASS TO SAND

DB Breweries on New Zealand, that in 2015 had already became known due to its recycling of the leftover yeasts it uses to brew its beer to create biofuel, is on the move again with an ecologic innovation aimed at saving the world's beaches, with an emphasis on its homeland's beaches. 

The industrial use of sand has many applications and, although it's not hard to turn raw stone into sand, the easiest and cheapest way has been just to remove it from where it is abundant, the beaches.

DB still bottles its beers on glass, which is made from sand and has decided to create a machine that allows the consumers to recycle the beer bottles, turning it back to sand.

Betting on an awareness campaign toned on humour, given the slogan "save the world, drink more beer", the company developed a fleet of recycling beer bottle machines that is freely distributed to New Zealand's bars and restaurants, encouraging their clients to recycle bottler. Unlike what usually happens with conventional campaigns and recycling glass bins (that have to be gathered, taken to a factory and then recycled), DB's recycling machines do it live, as soon as the client inserts a bottle into the device!

The statistics show that two thirds of the world's beaches are disappearing due to the intensive exploitation of its sand to make concrete, glass windows and, of course, beer bottles. DB Breweries announced that its goal is to deliver the sand created by its machines to construction companies and other commercial partners with the intent to reduce the country's pristine beach sand dependence.

These machines work as follows: when someone inserts a beer bottle, in mere five seconds, its mechanism composed of small steel hammers that rotate at 2,800 rotations per minute is activated; as soon as it pulverizes the bottles, a sucking system separates the silica dust from the bottle's paper label, leaving 200 grams of artificial sand.

Part of the machine is transparent, assuring that the clients can witness on first-hand the bottle they inserted being turned into sand!

The breweries already secured a two years contract with DryMix, the nation's largest bagged concrete producer, besides having also made agreements to use the artificial sand created by its beers on road paving, golf courts and housing constructions.

The company estimates that it will be able to create approximately 100 tons of artificial sand on its first months alone, the equivalent of the 500,000 bottles of its DB Export brand.

On a statement made to the press Sean O'Donnell, marketing director of DB Breweries, referred that New-Zealanders "love their beaches and love their beer", adding, "wouldn't it be great if you could have a beer and do something for the environment?"

DB's beer brands now include a label stating "Drink DB Export, save our beaches" to encourage its drinkers to recycle the bottles. "We can't solve the problem alone", added O'Donnell, "but we knew we could do more to help. We're proud to launch an initiative that can help us do our bit to protect our beaches for future generations."

The brewing industry is one of the world's top users of sand, crucial for the making of its bottles. The need to turn itself into a sustainable industry, on a global world that thanks to the Internet and social networks is becoming even more aware of the issues, is making more conscious breweries to stand out through innovation.

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