As GreenBiz reported on Tuesday, the 2008 CleanTech Open concluded earlier this week, showcasing some of the most exciting new innovations in the world of sustainability. Among the winners walking away with a prize package worth $100,000 in cash and business resources was BottleStone, a Los Altos Hills company that makes ceramic stone countertops out of recycled glass.
It takes about six wine bottles to create a square foot of BottleStone, which is a wonder to think used wine bottles do more than to serve as evidence of one’s drinking habits. What’s more interesting is BottleStone’s durability. In tests, the material proved to be just as strong as 1.5″ thick brick or 2.5″ thick concrete paver.
The glass waste used is direct from post-consumer sources, meaning it’s the same stuff that’s on the side of the curb during morning trash pickup, and comprises 80% of the surface material (the other 20% being cement and ceramic). According to its website, there is no special processing done to the glass, and therefore there are zero emissions in the production of the new surface material.
The question many seem to have for new technologies like this is if they will be able to be successful in a recessive economy. GreenBiz says the CleanTech Open, now in its third year, “provides winners with the tools and resources to take their ideas from the conceptual stage to the marketplace.” Its mission is to serve as an innovation catalyst for companies like BottleStone, whose material in turn is eligible for LEED credits for builders and designers.
According to dvice.com, BottleStone sits in the “mid-high range” on price, cheaper than real marble or granite and similarly priced to other synthetic materials like Corian. It is, however, a more expensive alternative to the laminate and pressed-wood materials that “you scorched with your iron in your first apartment.” And BottleStone comes in a variety of colors. Especially if you want to customize the material yourself, it can be glazed, stained, and/or waxed to any color you want. Not to mention the types of bottles you use to make it, putting to good use clearish Corona or milk bottles or even the Cabernet from last night’s dinner party.