Franziska Trautmann ’16
May 06, 2024

‘Glassroots’ recycling

Franziska Trautmann ’16 turns glass waste into a resource
by Rita Savard

Over 5 million pounds of glass would be in landfills if not for Franziska Trautmann ’16 and her team at Glass Half Full. Started in the backyard of a college fraternity house in New Orleans—literally over a bottle of wine—Glass Half Full recycles glass into sand for coastal restoration, disaster relief, construction, and more.

Graduating from Tulane with a degree in chemical engineering gave Trautmann the skills necessary to help lead a research team backed by the National Science Foundation. The novel work led to the completion of four coastal restoration projects, restoring 1,700 meters of coastline and counting. In her spare time, Trautmann makes educational TikToks ranging from recycling to climate change to wastewater treatment. Her page has garnered over 280,000 followers and millions of views.

Q: What gives you hope for the future?

What gives me hope is seeing people out in the field and doing the work. When people say, ‘you need to touch the grass,’ sometimes it really is that simple. I draw so much hope from getting my hands dirty, planting trees or grasses, moving sediment, and seeing the changes in restoration projects over time.

Categories: Alumni, Magazine

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