Recycled Glass Bottles Turn into Year of the Dragon Figurines at Workshop in Central Japan City

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A worker on Monday holds a metal rod used to roll melted glass at Okazaki Garasu Kobo Aoi workshop in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture.

NAGOYA — Discarded glass bottles collected in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, are recycled and transformed into dragon figurines at a glass workshop in the city as it prepares products for next year, the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac.

Production of the figurines has entered the busiest phase at Okazaki Garasu Kobo Aoi, the workshop where the crushed bottles are melted at a heat of 1,400 C. Staffers there then roll the melted glass on a metal rod and use their tools to shape them to resemble the face of a dragon.

Each figurine has a unique facial expression, which adds to its charm.

The workshop is planning to produce 1,200 dragon figurines and start selling the products this month for ¥2,200 each.

“I hope it can generate interest in recycling,” said the staff member in charge at the workshop.