A new glass crusher became operational yesterday to help deal with the growing mountains of glass waste being produced and often discarded.
The crusher was imported by non-governmental organisation Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S) as part of its project funded by the Regional Coastal Management Programme of the Indian Ocean (Recomap) and the European Union to help set up a system for the sustainable management of glass waste in Seychelles.
S4S formally handed over ownership of the crusher and some 500 bins to the Landscape and Waste Management Agency, in the presence of environment principal secretary Didier Dogley, during a small ceremony at the STAR premises at Providence.
Mr Dogley said the project underscores government policy to minimise waste for a “waste free Seychelles.”
He said ventures that seek to transform or process waste, instead of just casting it aside, have a lot of merit.
He said a similar project was launched three years ago targetting PET or plastic bottles, which are now collected at designated centres for a 50 cent refund each, before they are crushed and exported.
Mr Dogley said though glass constitutes just 1% of our total waste, it can do a lot of damage if thrown around on our beaches or on the roads.
The fact that more beverages are now being imported in glass bottles, makes the waste problem all the more pressing, he said.
STAR, whose chief executive Bernard Coguennec was also present, is responsible for transporting the waste from various collection points to Providence.
To date over 40 hotels, mainly in north Mahe, but also North Island Resort, have agreed to take part in the project and been issued with bins.
S4S education coordinator Michelle Martin said two district administrations -- Anse Royale and Roche Caiman -- are also taking part, but it is hoped that more communities will join in.
The guests and media were shown how the crusher works. They were told that it can crush a bin-full of glass waste in just three minutes.
Crushed glass cullet is used as a clean fill for construction or by artisans for craftwork.
One enterprise Apana, based at Baie Lazare, exhibited some artefacts made from crushed glass. These include ash-trays, tortoises and flowers such as hibiscus.
The main glass waste items presently being crushed are wine, spirit and non-returnable beer and soft drink bottles as well as jam and pickle jar without lids.