Wanna Save New Zealand's Beaches? Throw Back A Beer

Drinking a beer could help save the planet. Okay, that's a bit sensational, but it's not far off the mark. The New Zealand beer company DB Export has created a machine that pulverizes beer bottles into sand substitute. With the world facing a sand shortage, that's something to toast to.

Related: The Strongest Beer Ever Made Was More Potent Than Whiskey

Smash A Beer, Save The Beach

According to a report in the New York Times, the world uses more sand than any other natural resource except water and air. Knowing that, then, it's not hard to believe the world is facing a sand shortage. It is a nonrenewable resource, after all. But what do we actually use sand for? Well, sand gives us asphalt, concrete, glass, and more—all essential parts of the modern world. (Side note: The world is all set with desert sand, but unfortunately the desert stuff is too round to be used in construction.) Two-thirds of the world's beaches are retreating, but one New Zealand company is combatting this environmental issue with beer.

Related: You Can Swim In Warm Pools Of Beer at Starkenberger's Castle

DB Exports (in collaboration with the agency Colenso BBDO, Auckland) has created a fleet of machines that pulverize empty beer bottles in just five seconds. The result is a beautiful, powdery white pile of finely ground glass sand that is usable in a variety of settings. Here's how it works, described by CampaignBrief: "The Beer Bottle Sand Machines reduce an empty bottle of DB Export into sand substitute in just 5 seconds. As the bottle is inserted, a laser triggers a wheel of small steel hammers spinning at 2800rpm. As the bottle is pulverised a vacuum system removes silica dust and plastic labels, leaving behind 200 grams of sand substitute." Oh, make sure to drink all the beer first, but that shouldn't be a problem...

Related: Ooid Is A Type Of Sand That Grows

Walking On Broken Glass

The company isn't creating sand for beaches—the beer bottle sand will help natural sand stay on the Kiwi shores where it belongs. DB Export Beer Bottle Sand can be used in concrete, roading, golf bunkers, landscaping and a host of other applications, according to the DB Export site. The company has a deal supplying their bottle sand to Drymix, New Zealand's biggest producer of bagged concrete. The project also helps keep glass bottles out of the trash. In New Zealand, one in every four beer bottles ends up in a landfill. The environmental implications of this project are exciting, but, honestly, seeing a bottle getting crushed into dust sounds really cool too.

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Watch And Learn: Fascinating Content About Sand

Sand Made From Beer Bottles, Not Beach

What The Heck Is Sand?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Sand mostly consists of broken-down rocks. 00:10

  2. A rock particle has to be a minimum of .05 mm to be considered sand. 00:27

  3. Hawaii's white beaches owe their appearance to parrotfish poop. 00:43

White Sand Beaches Are Made of Fish Poop

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Parrotfish often break off chunks of coral and grind them into fine sand using their pharyngeal teeth. 00:26

  2. When juvenile fish sleep, they swaddle themselves in mucous. 01:00

  3. Some parrotfish can change their sex during their life time. 01:20

Is Glass Really Made From Sand?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. When we talk about glass, we are generally speaking about soda-lime glass. 00:25

  2. The type of sand called calcium carbonate will not make glass. 01:29

  3. Iron can be added to glass to absorb infrared radiation. 03:01

Written by Curiosity Staff March 27, 2017

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