Brighton restaurant Silo, which prides itself on its zero waste ethos, is turning its sights to glass recycling with a crowdfunder to help it buy machinery turn wine bottles into fine glass porcelain.
The restaurant already does everything it can to reduce or reuse any waste by trading directly with local farmers using reusable containers and making sure it composts all its food waste.
Now, it wants to raise £10,000 to buy a bottle crusher and jewellery polisher so that it can grind the bottles into sand and then work with potter Mark Caivol to turn them into crockery – a more environmentally friendly way of disposing of the glass than traditional recycling, which uses a significant amount of energy melting down the glass.
Silo Owner and Head Chef Doug McMaster, said: “The definition of upcycling is to give material a greater value. Turning our waste wine bottles into fine crockery would be a remarkable increase of value.
“Comparatively, this idea is the same as turning food waste into compost. If we can raise the money to buy the equipment, this will take ‘zero-waste’ to a whole new level.”
The restaurant has teamed up with Crowd2Fund to raise the £10,000 required to get the project off the ground. Silo previously worked with Crowd2Fund when it raised £48,000 of equity finance to set up a partnership with The Tres Hombres, a specialist shipping company which exclusively transports cargo with wind and sea power.
Individuals who pledge to the Crowd2Fund campaign will receive a range of rewards including discount vouchers for Silo as well as free porcelain and ceramic crockery items created from the new process.
Investors who donate £100 or more will also receive a one-hour session during which they will be able to manufacture their own cup at Mark Caviolo’s Potters Thumb pottery.