We have a brand new gadget here at Master Divers that will hopefully ‘cut’ our plastic usage over time. It’s a glass cutter! This gizmo allows us to safely cut glass bottles into glass cups, therefore reducing the amount of cups we may buy to use at our water refill station.
Our New Gadget!
Recycling is good, but currently of 14% of plastics received for recycling, only 5% is actually made into a new object, the rest is lost as a by-product. This is technically down-cycling as the usable material is reduced, and will often lose the valuable properties of the original plastic. Recycling is better than wasting, but it is not a perfect system yet and technologies require greater development to recycle higher proportions of materials. Instead, by reusing current materials and objects, by re-purposing them or reusing them 100%, we can truly reduce our waste and reduce our requirements for new materials.
How to use
So, how does it work?
First of all, you place your chosen glass bottle into the glass cutter and tighten the screws to grip the glass. This can be done on any round glass, however thicker glass may be harder to separate at a later stage. Once secure, you can adjust the black levers to add a little extra pressure to the bottle, and to lower the glass cutting needle into place against the bottle.
Now the needle is against the glass, slowly rotate the glass bottle within the glass cutter so that a thin line is scored all the way around the bottle. This takes a bit of practice to make sure the cut is accurate and lines up in a perfect circle. Be careful to do this with glasses and gloves over a safe area, as the bottle may crack or shatter at an undetermined weak point.
Now that we have our line, we need to repeatedly heat and cool the bottle by rinsing/soaking it in boiling water and ice water alternatively. This expands and constricts the glass, making it prone to shatter. Fortunately after several bathes, the bottle should shatter neatly around the score mark that previously weakened the glass making it fragile along the line.
With a bit of practice, the bottle separates into a usable cup and additional funnel. Use a bit of sandpaper to smoothen the edges and… you have a new, reused and reusable glass cup!
The finished product
Small initiatives like this can help reduce plastic production whilst educating others on the global plastic problem. Cheers!