A new lease of life for glass in Zanzibar
Tourists are an increasingly important source of income in Zanzibar, but they also cause an increase in the amount of (glass) waste. The African island is not yet sufficiently equipped to process this waste, which means that the glass ultimately finds its way into the natural surroundings. But what if that same tourism could also contribute to processing this waste?.
With the Trending Terrazzo furniture collection, bottle up offers the tourist industry on the island an alternative to imported furniture from abroad. At the same time the collection offers new opportunities for existing local crafts while creating job opportunities on the island.
After a successful first collection of objects created from empty bottles, we had the change to find an even more constructive solution for processing glass by turning it into furniture. Commissioned by the bottle up foundation and together with Klaas Kuiken, OS∆OOS we looked for ways to process bigger quantities of glass
waste and find proper use of the broken bottles. During the research we met local terrazzo makers that would work for hotels and resorts to make terrazzo floors, walls and swimming pools. By changing the recipe and replacing the minerals with glass shards, we were able to make a
glass terrazzo in different color tones and strong enough to manufacture furniture.The terrazzo collection turned out to be a perfect way to process glass shards and the residual flow of glass fragments coming from our own production.
WHAT WE MADE
A collection of furniture objects made from glass terrazzo as an alternative to imported furniture from abroad - the local recipe to process glass waste coming from the tourism industry.
The first test products were formed using unusual ‘moulds’ found on the island. So a metal wok became the basis for a little table and a piece of corrugated rooftin served as a mould for a table leg. As we proceed, the glass terrazzo made from white lime cement and glass, turned out to be a very decorative material in which the beautiful properties of glass can clearly be seen. We see this collection as a next step in the process and a way to get closer to the processing of larger quantities of glass waste into materials that can be used on the island itself.
As part of the Trending Terrazzo collection we designed different items. From small objects like vases and bowls to furniture pieces as a bench, dining- and coffee table. Manufactured and and exclusively sold on Zanzibar! The income generated with these products is directly invested in the development of new solutions for processing glass into materials that can be used on the island itself.
The Trending Terrazzo products are a great way to process huge quantities of glass shards coming from hotels, resorts, the beach and the roadside. Even contaminated glass and second choice bottles that didn’t make it to bottle up object can be used! And every single bottle up product can be shredded and implemented in the production chain to make a new trending Terrazzo product!Our aim is to continue collaborating with the bottle up foundation to stop single use glass coming to the island. But till that moment, we will keep designing and manufacturing functional products from glass waste. We daydream about the moment we can start “harvesting” glass waste from the landfill because we used all the available glass waste and empty bottle on the island