Helping save beaches by recycling beer bottles

 DB Export is recycling bottles to make a man-made sand it hopes will help preserve our beaches....
DB Export is recycling bottles to make a man-made sand it hopes will help preserve our beaches. Photo: files

Kiwi beer brand DB Export is recycling its used bottles to make a man-made sand - an effort the company hopes will help preserve our beaches.

New Zealanders use sand to make roads, pathways and pipelines, even build homes - and sourcing it from our coastlines is causing erosion, damaging ecosystems and marine life habitats.

The average Kiwi consumer uses more than 200kg of sand each year, most of which comes from beaches. It's a non-renewable resource and is also used to make glass.

Every year 27% of glass waste makes its way into New Zealand landfills.

Through its recycling initiative DB Export aims to convert its used bottles to 100 tonnes of sand substitute. That's equal to about 500,000 beer bottles.

The company hopes the programme will help cut down the amount of sand dredged from beaches.

``DB Export Beer Bottle Sand is a simple initiative that we believe will have a big impact,'' DB Breweries spokesman Sean O'Donnell said.

``We can't solve the problem [of beach dredging] alone but we knew we could do more to help. Our ambition is to help drive more recycling whilst looking out for the beaches which are an integral part of our Kiwi DNA.

``We're proud to launch an initiative that can help us do our bit to protect our beaches for future generations.''

It will make two types of sand - a pure kind made of finely crushed bottles that will be used to make golf bunkers and pipe bedding and a heavier kind that will be used as sustainable concrete mix.

Kiwi beer enthusiasts will get to have a go crushing their own bottles when some of DB's novel recycling machines visit bars across the country.

The initiative is not DB Export's first foray into sustainable manufacturing. In 2015, the company partnered with the petrol station Gull to create the first commercially available biofuel made from beer brewing waste.

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