Returnable bottles vs. recycling

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mactrail, Oct 20, 2013.

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  1. 1_BR_3

    1_BR_3 Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2014 Oregon

    Try not to think about it in terms of monetary gain. There are other issues at play here. The process only starts when people realize that the long term benefits outweigh the short-term, monetary gains. If people start reusing the bottles regularly, the cost of beer could actually start to go down because with every reuse, the brewer saves money. The more that brewer (or other reuse entity) reuses the bottles, the more the overhead cost is driven down, eventually allowing them to lower product cost.
  2. nophunk

    nophunk Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2011 Louisiana

    That's the other thing, don't get me wrong I'm not super lazy or anything, but how much effort am I going to be forced to make? I live in a relatively small second story apartment. Target is out in the worst traffic-y suburb of New Orleans. I live in the heart of the city. I would have to collect so many bottles, on my back balcony I guess. Haul them down the stairs. And then burn 15 miles of gas round trip, blah! I really hope this Whole Foods accepts glass.
  3. 1_BR_3

    1_BR_3 Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2014 Oregon

    I understand the frustration. Access to these facilities needs to be much better! You might be better off putting your effort into organizing a community effort to petition the government to institute a glass recycling program
  4. jeffthecheff

    jeffthecheff Defender (681) Jul 23, 2008 Connecticut

    No...maybe I should have though. I didn't feel like reaching into a dumpster.
    Ozzylizard likes this.
  5. abaculy

    abaculy Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2005 Michigan

    Here in Michigan, we pay a $0.10 deposit which makes is return them to a place that sells the brand retail in order to get our money back.
  6. BeerAssassin

    BeerAssassin Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2012 Antarctica

    It may be but, I'm guessing breweries don't want the added liability if a bottle explodes and hurts someone after being weakened. Since the bottle will be out of their control they won't know what may have happened to it.
  7. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (12,050) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Moderator Society Trader

    Dang, yer sayin there's a difference? I mean you got beer brewers and freaks over here, and the line for home schoolers starts over there.
  8. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (12,050) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Moderator Society Trader

    In California, where you pay five or ten cents a bottle "CRV" it's just a tax. Unless you want to take the bottles back to a recycling center that is willing to pay you the cents back. Then they crush them, etc. I hope that's not the future of recycling-- another tax?
    abaculy and nogophers like this.
  9. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (12,050) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Moderator Society Trader

    What they're doing is stealing from the rest of us who pay taxes to support unprofitable municipal recycling programs. It would be better to put REFILLABLE bottles out for the bums to sell back and have them reused, than making recycling programs even more expensive.
  10. paulaner

    paulaner Initiate (74) Jan 10, 2004 Wisconsin

    Every brewer here in Germany uses returnable bottles same for Belgium too.
    1_BR_3 and PapaGoose03 like this.
  11. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (4,906) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Cool! But what does this mean " OUR FAILSAFE DESIGN WILL EVACUATE WARM CRAFT ALES. "
  12. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    You asked this:
    I provided this:

    Of course there are other factors that influence whether or not people recycle. Heck, states with higher affluency and intelligence tend to recycle more than states of lower affluency and intelligence.
    To discount the bottle return fee though is asinine though.

    • Curbside programs are more common in deposit States than in non-deposit States: 43% of the population has access to curbside recycling in deposit States, versus 22% of the population in non-deposit States. Thus, enactment of a bottle bill does not appear to prevent operation of curbside programs.
    • Deposit systems collect more of their target materials than do curbside programs. Return rates in deposit systems range from 72% to 98%. The best curbside programs collect less than 70% of the targeted material -- in many cases, substantially less.
    • Because the bottles and cans are sorted and handled individually when returned to retailers, the materials collected by deposit systems are generally of a higher quality than curbside materials, particularly if the latter are commingled during collection.

    I would counter your statement that deposit has little affect on recycling with "actually, I think the opposite of that is true".
  13. SLOCruzin

    SLOCruzin Initiate (163) Sep 30, 2013 California

    I would be more than happy to participate in a reusable bottle program. Fact is, most Americans think only in terms of how much it will cost them monetarily and energetically, in addition to thinking its unsanitary, so I don't think things like this will happen on a national scale until their is incentive or need to change. But I know that at least Germany (maybe other EU countries) return bottles for all beverages. What is it about our culture that makes this idea gross or strange?
  14. 1_BR_3

    1_BR_3 Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2014 Oregon

    Dont even try to tell me that shipping empty reuseables takes up more energy than shipping our recycling to CHINA! And that is just to see if they'll take it...otherwise it ends up in the landfill. Heating the water to sterilization temp also doesn't even scratch the surface of heating glass to 1400 degrees to melt it down.
    Economically, the cost of returnables is, on average, about double the price of throw aways. that means that if half your bottles make it back twice, or all your bottles make it back once, the cost is offset. Then you can talk about reduced recycling costs. In most states, businesses are required to pay for their recycling, and often by the pound. By reusing bottles you can cut that cost to almost nothing and use the saved money to pay for employees to wash the bottles, therefore creating local jobs instead of jobs in China.
    The American consumer is, generally, extremely ignorant about the realistic state of our environment. We are consuming resources at a rate that is utterly unsustainable. The majority of people on this planet right now will be alive to see the end of oil mining because there just isn't enough of it anymore. Coal and Natural Gas account for almost 70% of the electricity used in this country. Neither of those is good for the environment! In fact, they account for an incredibly high portion of air pollution. The American consumer cannot be given the luxury of choosing between used and new anymore. The bottles are functional, that is all they were ever intended to be. We live on a planet which we are destroying and now we have to learn how to exist within that destructed environment. Reuse of already finished products is just one way to work toward a more sustainable society.
    utopiajane likes this.
  15. 1_BR_3

    1_BR_3 Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2014 Oregon

    Simple answer is capitalism. There is not as much money to be made in returnables or reuseables as there is in creating from scratch or recycling. The recycling industry is a muti-billion dollar industry. If it wasn't profitable, there wouldn't be a recycling program. We have been conditioned by big business to think that new is the only "safe" way to go, and that is because if we don't buy new...capitalism heads down a slippery slope. The only way it can stay in operation is by the continuous harvesting of natural resources. Reuse doesn't allow for that culture to exist, so they advertise and convince us we need NEW things when the "used" stuff is just as good.
    HRamz3 likes this.
  16. abaculy

    abaculy Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2005 Michigan

    I'm sure it is... which will mean we will never truly see that money back in and calculable form... which will give less incentive to recycle.
  17. kemoarps

    kemoarps Poo-Bah (2,237) Apr 30, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

    I went to college in California. One of the benefits of being in positions of power within the dorm was establishing glass and can recycling bins for all of the parties our dorm hosted (very wet campus). After two weeks I'd take a couple bins worth to the deposit station and come out with a $20-50 coupon for the grocery store (that was how they did it there). Snacks for the week or the next party or booze for ourselves.

    Only downside was my sister's Rodeo stank something awful for the next day or two.
  18. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (12,050) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Moderator Society Trader

    In California, where you pay five or ten cents a bottle "CRV" it's just a tax. Unless you want to take the bottles back to a recycling center that is willing to pay you the cents back. Then they crush them, etc. I hope that's not the future of recycling-- another tax?
    Maybe the next step is rational policy on growlers-- universal fills, sensible pricing, and maybe a little carbonation boost. That would be the best kind of recycling, where the jug has some perceived value, and you own it, and the brewer gives you some incentive to keep reusing it.
  19. daveydapoolman

    daveydapoolman Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2013 California

    recycle. and typically have enough for a bomber or 6pk. That I buy directly after :grinning:
  20. mudbug

    mudbug Defender (622) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    As much as I hate to put a damper on any Green thinking. My 10 plus years in the glass bottle industry has to agree with you.
    Glass is basically just silicon plus a few added things for color and hardness. Silicon is the most abundant thing on the planet. At the factory where I worked it took far more labor to reuse glass that it took to make it from scratch. Now I know people that want to recycle everything will get their panties all in a bunch, but recycling glass doesn't pan out. It would be better to just crush it locally and use it for paving or beach sand.
    cavedave likes this.
  21. LAD

    LAD Initiate (0) Apr 16, 2008 Texas

    You are right. Very little glass gets "recycled" into more glass. Some used glass is used as "cullet" which primes the glass furnaces but that's about it.
    cavedave likes this.
  22. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,098) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Haha, I love this debate because it is so important, and the level of ignorance is so great.

    Keeping glass out of the waste stream is economically valuable to the municipalities, that is obvious, since the major cost to the municipalities is to send waste to landfills, large costs charged by the ton.

    Green glass, properly recycled, is still more expensive to bottlers than purchasing new green glass.

    And this is the one that is the industry secret, but I know because I am in the industry. If your "recycling program" doesn't separate by color, the glass does not get made into new glass. Chances are instead of a waste landfill it all goes into a clean fill. So, if your municipality doesn't separate, it doesn't save any new glass from being made.

    Cans recycling though is tremendously important for many reasons, and if you throw away aluminum cans instead of recycling you are an enemy of the earth. Right now less than 35% of aluminum in cans is from recycled aluminum, we need to bring that up near to 100%.
  23. marquis

    marquis Champion (812) Nov 20, 2005 England

    Aluminium is the one thing which is worth recycling because of the sheer amount of energy it takes to produce it.There are question marks about the overall benefits of recycling in general. Our local glass collection point does have separate receptacles for clear, green , blue and brown glass.Some may be reused but at least it can be ground up to take up less space in landfill sites.
    cavedave likes this.
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