Although glass is thought of as being relatively eco-friendly because it’s recyclable, the fact is that a lot of it doesn’t get recycled – this is particularly true of small fragments, that are too fiddly to sort. Now, however, scientists are suggesting that glass waste could be used to make concrete that’s stronger and cheaper than ever.
Starting with various pieces of non-recyclable glass, researchers in Australia ground them up into a coarse powder that they utilized as an aggregate in polymer concrete in place of the sand that’s normally used. When the glass-based polymer concrete was subsequently tested, it was found to be significantly stronger than its traditional sand-based counterpart. Additionally, because sand has to be mined, washed and graded, it was determined that the use of the ground glass resulted in lower concrete production costs.
What’s more, while a shortage of appropriate sand has been predicted, there are currently stockpiles of old glass that are just sitting around unprocessed. If this process of using old glass to make concrete is as solid as this sounds, this will solve two problems in one.