What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Glass Half Full


Louisiana college students Franziska Trautmann and Max Steinz co-founded an organization known as Glass Half Full. The company converts about 16 metric tons of recycled glass collected in their state back into manmade sand. The sand is then used by wetlands and habitats to help with sand erosion. A National Science Foundation grant recipient, Glass Half Full collaborated with scientists to make sure the reused glass doesn’t release chemicals into the water, making it suitable for supporting the native plants that help grow and protect dunes and shorelines. These clever folks need a franchise in every city in the world!

Like many good ideas (and more than a few bad ones, but that’s a post for another day), the idea for the company came when then-students Steinz and Trautmann shared a bottle of wine and realized that their college town of New Orleans didn’t have a way to recycle glass. In fact, only 2 cities in all of the state of Louisiana were recycling the material, and they were collecting only about 6% of the state’s glass. If you’ve ever been to NOLA, you’ll understand just how much glass (read liquor) waste the city produces, so the students decided to solve the problem. They actually started their recycling efforts at the back of the frat house, but when they quickly outgrew the space donations poured in, enabling them to move their operation to a 40,000 square foot warehouse space. In their first year, Glass Half Full recycled more than 650,000 pounds of glass, and they’re now up to 3.3 million pounds recycled. I call that progress!

“We aim to produce millions of pounds of sand annually to supply the rapidly depleting resource globally. This way, we can be a sustainable alternative to sand extraction and sand mining.”

– Franziska Trautmann, Co-founder & CEO

Not content to just focus on glass waste, Glass Half Full is also helping recycle Christmas trees, jar lids, wine corks, aluminum cans, oyster shells, burlap bags, and, mot notably, MARDI GRAS BEADS! How’s that for a cool idea?

You can learn more about Glass Half Full on their website and on Instagram and Facebook. You can also help the cause by buying jewelry made from their recycled glass on the NOLA Alchemy website.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

10 thoughts on “Glass Half Full

  1. Good for them for finding solutions! And I love the humor – “glass drop-offs are a judgment free zone”!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a great idea! Given sand is a component in glass-making, it might seem an obvious solution to recycle glass back into sand but I certainly never would have thought of it. It’s wonderful that people are finding creative and useful solutions to processing waste.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Perfect solution to a growing problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I join others, what a great idea. Brovo. Hope some simular ideas popup. Hal

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for this! I was taking our bottles over to the city-run metro site, but now I’m gonna start using these guys!

    Liked by 1 person

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