The question has baffled recycling specialists and even some experts who have spent time with the bongs.
But now there is a simple solution, they say.
The new bong has been designed by the recycling company Western Australia’s Scrapper, which was founded by a mining engineer.
“They wanted to bring some modern technology to a long-time industry,” Scrappers director Andrew Taylor said.
But the answer was not immediately obvious.
“There was a lot of excitement about the new design, but there was no clarity,” Mr Taylor said, noting it was not clear whether the new bongs would work in the real world.
When the Scrapping Company first approached Western Australia in 2013 to buy the company’s bongs, Mr Taylor’s wife said she wanted to keep the brand, but the company was not interested.
Western Australia has a long history of recycling.
In 2010, a year after the first scouring bongs were sold in Western Australia, the company began producing new products for the industry.
And Mr Taylor is confident the new designs will deliver the same level of bang for the buck.
He has already tested the new product and said the “recyclers have been very impressed”.
“It has been really good,” Mr Taylors wife, Sarah, said.
“I’m really excited that the Scrapers have done something like this and it will be a long time coming.”
The company will also be rolling out the new Scraper products across Australia, but Mr Taylor and the company will need to sell over 3,000 units to get the brand up and running.
There will be some additional challenges.
They will have to make sure that all the bong parts fit inside the borosilicate glass, which requires a bit of assembly.
Mr Taylor said the company would need to have the right mix of materials for the new products and that they needed to be available to the market.
Some of the parts are currently made by a company called Energetics in Melbourne, but this new company is expected to manufacture the bangers.
It is also looking to import some of the materials, and if there are not enough bongs in the world it will also need to make them in the USA.
While the new Western Australian company is still in the design phase, the technology behind the Scraper’s bong will eventually be used to recycle and reuse the bores.