The origins of a glass recycling empire

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Franziska Trautmann, co-founder and co-director of Glass Half Full NOLAsays that, like most good ideas, the idea for the recycling program “started with a bottle of wine.”

In Louisiana, where Trautmann went to college, that bottle had no local recycling options. Instead, it would end up in a landfill. She and co-founder Max Steitz decided to change that.

They started small by collecting glass from a garden to process and recycle it themselves, but the project quickly grew. Trautmann said once the glass started coming, it never stopped.

They continue to scale up the operation, and these days the glass sand they create from transformed bottles is repurposed for a whole range of things, including flood disaster relief and l attenuation of coastal erosion – which is particularly important for New Orleans, the home of Glass Half Plein.

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