You may not be able to make a silk purse from a sow's ear, but you can turn used wine bottles into fine porcelain, according to plans by Brighton's zero-waste restaurant Silo.
The business is seeking to raise £10,000 on Crowd2Fund to buy bottle crushing and jewellery polishing machinery to enable it to repurpose glass from wine bottles used in the restaurant. The process to turn the bottles into crockery is claimed to be a unique concept developed by Silo owner and head chef Doug McMaster in collaboration with potter Mark Caivol.
"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," he said. "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."
Glass is the last remaining component at Silo that is recycled and recycling still has a negative impact on the environment due to the significant carbon footprint generated by melting glass. Using specialist machinery, the bottles will be ground back to sand - a symbolic first step to try to reduce the 28 billion glass bottles that end up in landfill each year.
Silo last used Crowd2Fund four years ago when it successfully raised £48,000 of equity finance to incorporate a working relationship with the Tres Hombres, a specialist shipping company that transports cargo using wind and sea power alone.