How Bottle Sharing Programs Help Boost Sustainability

With key points like diverting glass from from landfills, helping to eliminate the energy to manufacture new bottles and lessening the demands for mining silica and sodium to make new bottles, Nevada’s Great Basin Brewing is looking for a new way to be more green.

Working with Conscious Container, Great Basin is collecting its used bottles to be cleaned and sent back into the craft beer world with beers packaged from neighboring brewery, Bayern, in Missoula, Montana.

“We have the greatest potential to get lots and lots of our bottles back into the re-use system,” explained Great Basin Brewmaster Tom Young. “We initiated our program by offering $1 per case for anyone willing to return their empty Great Basin bottles. Conscious Container will pick up the bottles from there.”

Young pointed out that although cans are a popular alternative to bottles and can be recycled, he said that mining aluminum is quite destructive.

“It occur mostly as an ore called bauxite that is formed in tropical and subtropical climates in generally flat-lying, shallow deposits that cover lots and lots of area requiring wide destruction over large areas to mine the ore,” he said. “Re-use of glass is a much cleaner alternative and [Conscious Container founder] Caren [McNamara] is leading the charge to bring this to economically viable reality.”

Great Basin will also assign special events where they will celebrate this endeavor by offering additional incentives like free pints, food specials, or have it on nights with music to convince consumers to do what Young calls “the right thing” and get empties back into the re-use stream.

“We applaud [Conscious Container’s] efforts as yet another effort to achieve sustainability,” Young said. “It fits well into the intent and culture of the Great Basin mission driving both staff members and our beer fans to continue to help us to make this world a better place.”

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