‘Smash Glass, Save Our World’

Ok, that’s a bit of a bold statement. But it did get me interested in the world of Breakbox; a new company trying to make a change in two ways, through environmental consciousness and promoting awareness and management of mental health. They call themselves the place where recycling meets recreational destruction. Intriguing right? I first encountered their work a few months ago, and I found it so interesting that I just had to share their concept.

The Recycling Bit

I think we all know that glass is widely recyclable. But did you know that in order to recycle it you need to smash the glass into little bits? Only when crushed into small pieces can glass be melted into new glass. Glass is also unique in the role it plays in manufacturing processes and circular economies. If you have you ever heard someone refer to plastic recycling as downcycling, they’re referring the quality of the new product decreasing from the original when recycled, but you don’t get that with glass at all. Recycle it as many times as you want, glass still remains high quality and incredible durable. Lovely.

So, recognising how great glass is, Breakbox are on a mission to make glass recycling a bigger, more regular, more efficient industry by providing a way to make the process easy and interesting. Breakbox invite members of the community to actively participate in the glass recycling process by giving them the opportunity to break a set amount of glass containers for a super cheap price (less than the cost of a movie ticket in the USA). Participants are able to choose from over ten different breaking games and are instructed by a trained “Break Buddy” who equips breakers in safety gear and makes sure everyone has a smashing time. BreakBox’s long term aim is to become the preferred glass hauler and processor for glass containers across the USA, helping to recycle and repurpose glass in a way that’s eco-friendly, cost effective, and fun.

The Brain Bit

But it’s also more than just fun.

Brains are important. So is keeping them healthy, and that can be hard sometimes. BreakBox can be great for a some release from the usual frustrations and stresses of life, but they’re also here to help if it runs deeper. They also have Project Breakthrough.

Project Breakthrough will primarily offer free mental health screenings to individuals after their break sessions if they, or BreakBox staff, feel that they need it. They will also offer introductions to a mental health referral network which will include a diverse selection of mental health professionals in the area that can help individuals further. Isn’t that amazing?

When I was 18 I went to a somewhat similar art project in Newcastle called Scrap Club. It was part of an art festival, and involved a lot of us smashing up various pieces of non-biodegradable waste with sledgehammers. I was both generally stressed at the time with exams and dance school auditions, but I was also having my own struggles with mental health. I can confirm that smashing a fridge, computer screen and tv really really helped me feel good in that moment, giving me a place where I could vent in my own way. Now imagine doing that in a way that also helps the environment and makes a major recycling network easier and more efficient? I don’t know about you but that sounds like a great, pretty unique activity for a night with friends.

Please, someone get me to America to do this for myself.

Until next time, stay magic y’all.