Now a New Orleans startup is recycling glass and converting it to shingles and sand.
Glass bottles are dropped off by volunteers or collected by the team against a fee, before being broken up and ground.
Perfect for new glass products such as tiles or jewellery. Or to fill sandbags used by emergency relief.
The team is especially keen on using their glass powder to rebuild the sandbanks of Louisiana which are being increasingly affected by erosion.
The project also offers a viable, environmentally-friendly alternative to sand-mining, as well as creating jobs and relieving the strain on landfill.
And, green beaches have a sustainable impact.