Turning Tequila Waste Into Sustainable Housing

Producing tequila creates waste, particularly bagasse (a fibrous byproduct of the agave piña) and vinasse (liquid runoff from distillation). In fact, in 2016 the Tequila Regulatory Council estimated that the industry produces 4.7 million tons of bagasse and 2.5 billion liters of vinasse annually, which often ends up in landfills. To curb this waste, Martha Jimenez Cardoso, an Indigenous engineer and director of sustainability at Astral Tequila, invented a way to turn the byproducts into adobe bricks. Cardoso and the team at Adobe Brick Project (an extension of Astral Tequila) mix bagasse, vinasse and soil in a machine to create adobe mud. Then, they hand-pack the mud into molds that are left to dry outside for 10 days to create bricks that are suited for Mexico’s temperate climate, withstand centuries and carry a smaller carbon footprint. These bricks are donated to local builders, housing construction and improvement projects. Learn more about the inventive solution at Modern Farmer.

Image courtesy of Astral Tequila