Just been looking at the amount of packaging waste created over the Christmas period and as I like my beer the number of beer bottles in my recycle bin.
I know there are alternatives to beer bottles but I like to try different ales and so don’t want any quantity of a single beer which makes bottles a great option.
One of the big reasons for supporting my local brewery is that I can get my bear with reduced food [beer] miles.
So it had me thinking about why don’t breweries offer a bottle return system?
This would help on a number of fronts.
- Re-use rather than recycle – it is good for the climate in that the bottles are reused in a local way that reduces transportation to/from recycling plants and eliminates the heavyweight processing at the recycling plants.
- The brewery heads down a more sustainability route and at the same time as reducing the need to purchase so many new bottles.
- The whole brewery community element is enhanced as the customer is returning to the brewery.
I am no environmental or recycling expert but surely this is not hard. On each bottle return, the brewery would need to add a step to clean before sterilisation and refill. As most breweries offer a small core range of beers they could even invest in waterproof labels so that in the cleaning process of returned bottles the labels would survive a few returns.
As most beer bottles are a common size and colour a brewery would not even have to just accept their own bottles.
I think a lot of drinkers would just like to do this in the current climate challenges but the breweries could help by offering a small discount on purchases when bottles are returned.