Glass bottles turned to sand? Udit Singhal's Glass2Sand managed it with this Kiwi contraption

The machine is the size of a small fridge, four feet in height and two feet in width. It takes five to ten seconds for a bottle to be crushed into sand which can, in turn, be used commercially
Udit operating the machine | (Pic: Education New Zealand)
Udit operating the machine | (Pic: Education New Zealand)

Ever wondered what happens to those glass bottles you sip beverages out of? It'll either be bought by a kabadiwala or will end up in a landfill. But there is a third option we can now consider, thanks to Udit Singhal. Waste glass bottles can be converted into sand which can then be used for construction. The 17-year-old calls this initiative of his Glass2Sand Project and here's how it all started. 

Let's test: High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers operating the machine | (Pic: Education New Zealand)

When glass bottles were just lying around in his house and not being collected even by kabadiwalas, this student of The British School, New Delhi started getting concerned. Upon much research, Udit found out that Expleco, a company in New Zealand, manufactures a machine that turns glass into sand seamlessly. "With the help of a grant from the New Zealand High Commission, I was able to get the machine here," explains the student of class XII. He even displaced the workings of the machine at a demonstration held in New Delhi, in the presence of New Zealand High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers. 

Standing tall: The machine which was brought from New Zealand | (Pic: Education New Zealand)

Udit informs us that all the glass bottles, along with their labels, are crushed by the machine and the resulting sand that is produced proves to be better for construction because it has 76% silica. Thus, Udit is concentrating on sourcing these bottles from hotels and high commissions and supplying the sand to construction agencies. "Usually it takes eight days for concrete to set, but whatever was constructed from the sand we supplied became rock solid in just a day," he shares. So what is the potential of this project? "Oh, the possibilities are endless. I intend to turn it into a social enterprise that will help us reduce our carbon footprint," he says. And what about his future, what lies ahead for the young individual? "I am a strong believer in education as it is a catalyst for a secure future. So I am looking to apply to universities abroad and take up Management, Economics or even Entrepreneurship," says a determined Udit. 

How are glass bottles made?
- Silica (sand), soda ash, limestone and sometimes cullet (recycled glass) are combined
- The mixture is then melted at high temperatures in a furnace
- The molten material is molded into different forms 

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