Rosslyn Chapel’s bottle-to-sand machine is votive star turn

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It’s famous worldwide for it starring role in Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel turned Hollywood movie The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou.

But now 15th century Rosslyn Chapel in Roslin, Midlothian, is taking a starring role in the environmental world after buying and gaining exclusive UK distribution rights to a recycling machine which turns glass bottles into sand.

The bottles from its visitors’ cafe is turned into sand by the Expleco GLS glass recycling machine. It is then used to mop up dripping candle wax at the Chapel’s votive candle stand where visitor light candles for loved ones or while saying private prayers.

Bottles are fed into the recycling machine, which cost around £3,500 and reduced to sand in 3-5 minutes.

The Chapel’s cafe staff say the machine is easy to use, eliminates glass recycling costs and guarantees large reductions in waste management costs.

David Peters, managing director of Saltire Hospitality which has run the Chapel’s cafe since 2013 , said: “Following a visit from a childhood friend from New Zealand, we were introduced to the range of Expleco Glass Recycling machines and we were impressed by the benefits to the business and the environment derived from using them.

“We like the machine and the benefits it delivers so much that we have not only bought it but have gained exclusive distribution rights for all Expleco Glass Recycling machines for Scotland an right to sell or lease in England and Wales.”

Ian Gardner, director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, which was set up in 1995 to care for the Chapel, oversee its conservation, and ensure access for the public, said: “Rosslyn Chapel holds a gold award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme and we are always keen to look at ways to add to our environmental sustainability.”

Mr Gardner added: “It’s great that, through this innovative machine, glass bottles from our coffee shop can now be used to benefit the Chapel.”

The Chapel is family-owned with the Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, its owners, among the Trustees of the trust.

The Scottish Government is currently considering responses from a public consultation on plans for a deposit-return scheme for drinks containers.

This would see customers paying a small surcharge which is refunded when the bottle is returned to the shop.