The Bottle Up Foundation is an initiative of Hubert and Elisabeth van Doorne and the Dutch Design Foundation. The project was initiated as tourism on the island creates a considerable amount of waste, especially glass, for which there is no proper recycling infrastructure available. While tourists are welcomed in Zanzibar for their contribution to economic development, the lack of formal waste management facilities across the Island creates a considerable challenge and many waste bottles end up in landfill. Thus, an up-cycling project was created, initially to process old bottles into new products locally which can then be sold to hotels and guests.
The main challenge that the Bottle Up Foundation was confronted with, was that the quantities of waste glass far exceeded the demand for most of these locally produced products. As a solution the creation of building material was introduced, the so-called “bottle-brick” was invented: each brick contains processed waste glass mixed with cement and can be used to replace conventional cement building blocks. Furthermore, the product series “Trending Terrazzo” also uses an aesthetic mixture of cement and glass to produce a range of other products, such as bowls, ashtrays, trays, and many more.
With this type of work the Bottle Up Foundation contributes to sustainable tourism in Zanzibar in many exemplary ways – starting with the problem of waste disposal, producing sustainable local products and creating a source of employment, income and further education to Zanzibaris within the region.
Hotels within the Our Zanzibar Group incorporate and sell Bottle Up products.