Beer Drinkers Have a New Way to Save the Planet With Latest Invention From DB Export

Makers of Grand Prix-Winning 'Brewtroleum' Set out to Stave Off Another Big Shortage

Published On
Feb 21, 2017

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DB Breweries and Colenso BBDO New Zealand previously empowered beer drinkers to help save the planet with "Brewtroleum," the 2015 Cannes Grand Prix-winning idea that turned brewing yeast into biofuel. Now, they've come up with another eco-friendly idea that transforms beer bottles into a substance that's in treacherously short supply: sand.

The world, it turns out, the world is suffering from a shortage of sand -- the kind that can safely be used for the construction of buildings -- so much so that there's even a black market for it. So in their latest earth-nurturing idea, the marketer and agency have devised a viable substitute for the disappearing resource, DB Export Beer Bottle Sand.

Together, they've built several machines that will turn empty DB bottles into sand substitute. Once they've finished their brew, drinkers deposit their bottles into the machine, which will employ miniature steel hammers to reduce each vessel into 200 grams of the sand in just five seconds. A vacuum system removes the extraneous plastic labels and silica dust from the usable material.

That, it turns out, was one of the biggest challenges. "Separating plastic labels from the bottles in the crushing process was a real head-scratch moment," Colenso Senior Art Director Andre Sallowicz told Creativity. "Ensuring the machine wasn't a trinket but an industrial quality piece of kit was always the aim and we're proud we achieved that."

The idea is meant to help reduce New Zealand's dependence on beach-derived sand for construction projects. DB Breweries is currently in the midst of securinig a two-year deal to supply its sand to DryMix, New Zealand's biggest bagged concrete producer. The brewery will also be supplying the sand to national roading, commercial and residential construction projects.

"Giving beer drinking a higher purpose was something that started with Brewtroleum," Sallowicz added. "But that started first from understanding the challenges the category was facing, and that was permissibility. Society had made beer a guilty-ridden purchase. So we went after that hard, and it worked. We wanted this idea to be a step on from Brewtroleum, so we set out to find a new purpose our drinkers could rally behind."

"We can't solve the problem alone but we knew we could do more to help," said DB Breweries Marketing Director Sean O'Donnell in a statement. "Our ambition is to help drive more recycling whilst looking out for the beaches which are an integral part of our Kiwi DNA. We're proud to launch an initiative that can help us do our bit to protect our beaches for future generations."

"Brewtroleum's success came through finding partners who could make the idea more than advertising," added Colenso BBDO Creative Chairman Nick Worthington. "We're thrilled to partner with the country's biggest construction companies to make DB Export Beer Bottle Sand a viable alternative to beach sand. And we're excited to work with DB Export drinkers to ensure a reliable supply of empty bottles."