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Paper Bottles?

wildoates

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 22, 2009
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Elk Grove, CA
Got me, Alan, perhaps CG has the right of it, although there isn't much that is as easily sterilizable as a glass bottle, so I dunno.
 

AToE

NewBee
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Jun 8, 2009
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It must be some silly thing about sanitation, that's the only thing I can think of that would convince people to switch to a process that must use thousands and thousands of times more resources.

Seems odd though.
 

wildoates

NewBee
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Mar 22, 2009
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Yay, capitalism, indeed. If you want something to work, you need to demonstrate its superiority to other ways of doing a thing. If it's truly better, it'll win the day. If not, figure out a way to make it so it does work better. Businesses can only stay in business if they think this way, because we all want best value for our nickel and few of us are so self-sufficient that we can eschew production line products entirely.

So...how to persuade the grocery that dedicating space to the collection of reusable bottles makes good business sense? How to persuade the consumer that battered, non-uniform wine and beer and soda bottles make good ecological sense? Who is going to do the math to see how much sorting, washing, and distribution of returned bottles compares with just melting down the glass and starting over?!
 

Soyala_Amaya

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 21, 2011
991
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Missouri
So...how to persuade the grocery that dedicating space to the collection of reusable bottles makes good business sense? How to persuade the consumer that battered, non-uniform wine and beer and soda bottles make good ecological sense? Who is going to do the math to see how much sorting, washing, and distribution of returned bottles compares with just melting down the glass and starting over?!
There's actually a lot of those question's answered on the site I posted, BUT I recognize a lot of them are probably skewed from a 'left wing environmentalist tree-hugger' perspective. To truly see the entire issue, one would need information from both sides.
 

wildoates

NewBee
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Mar 22, 2009
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Exactly my point. the problem with ideology--however gloriously unfettered and hopeful it is--is that it is always trumped by cold, hard, reality.

Dangnabit. :)

If we want people to do something our way, we need to demonstrate how they can make money by doing it our way, plain and simple, because if there is one thing in this world that is NOT zero-sum, it's wealth. Michael Moore might be one of the 1%, but I don't have to take a dime out of his pocket to make my own fortune if I can convince people that my way of dealing with bottles is going to be be both cheaper and better than the system we've got going now.

Unfortunately, I'm just a humble public school teacher and I have no idea how to actually do that. :)
 

AToE

NewBee
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Jun 8, 2009
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Calgary AB Canada
It has to be the cheaper way to do it, that's how India does it (their bottles look totally sandblasted!) and you know they're looking at the cheapest possible method.

Here I think it's split into 2 categories, bottles that are specific to brand are rebought by the brand/brewery, which is obviously cheaper for them than buying new bottles. The generic ones (vast majority) I imagine are bought up by either specific breweries or large bottle companies.

As far as I know all/much of the costs involved are pretty much covered by the deposit on the bottles.

Seems to me it works better regardless of ideology.
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
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Apr 27, 2010
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Well, the Beer Store in Ontario not only refunds your beer deposit when you return the empties, but they also pay you $.10 per bottle if you return wine bottle to them as well. But I still have no idea where the bottles go, whether they're sold back to wineries or whether they're melted down into new bottles... I suppose the internet might have answers but I'm too lazy to look right now. I just know that I've never gotten a bottle of wine or beer in the last decade that looks "used".
 

AngryNord

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 1, 2011
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Redmond Wa.
My two cents.
If my understanding of it is correct, reuse of bottles is a bit more expensive that new bottles, at least in the states, as the FDA wants to assure no contamination occurs. The cost of total and assured sanitizing of them to meet certain guidlines is more costly than simply buying new bottles. Also if you don't have a steady supply of bottles that are all the same type shipping costs can increase by a fair margin. But for home use I encourage it all I can, I have a good number of bottles in my shed right now waiting for future use.
And going to the op, I wonder what the extra cost of special shipping containers is for a full-scale production run? For example, have you ever noticed when opening a can of uncarbonated tea or maybe Gatorade it still pops? They actually pressurize them to increase the top-load capabilities of the container so they can use a thinner container, thereby reducing shipping cost. I can see problems in doing this with a paper container. Not that I don't think it is a good idea. I actually would like to see something like this used more.
 

wildoates

NewBee
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Mar 22, 2009
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India has cheap labor, though, neither the US nor Canada does in comparison. In Norway they reuse their plastic soda bottles, which are much sturdier than ours are, but they've got government-subsidized wages that aren't practical in any country without billions of oil Kroner coming into government coffers. We pay a deposit on bottles and cans here in CA, but it's for recycling, not reuse, and is a net loss for the state in any event.

Of course, almost everything CA does lately is a net loss, God help my native state!
 

AToE

NewBee
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Jun 8, 2009
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Calgary AB Canada
India has cheap labor, though, neither the US nor Canada does in comparison. In Norway they reuse their plastic soda bottles, which are much sturdier than ours are, but they've got government-subsidized wages that aren't practical in any country without billions of oil Kroner coming into government coffers. We pay a deposit on bottles and cans here in CA, but it's for recycling, not reuse, and is a net loss for the state in any event.

Of course, almost everything CA does lately is a net loss, God help my native state!

You answered your concern about labour in your own post though - India's cheap labour of course always plays in, but cannot be the deciding factor here, because as you say Canada has the same high labour costs as the USA (higher actually, because we don't have as much undocumented labour), and it's only the USA that doesn't clean and reuse the bottles.

I need to see numbers from anyone claiming (not you, just saying anyone) that cleaning bottles costs more than melting them and making them into new bottles. Glass takes a LOT of heat to melt, properly cleaning bottles requires some equipment to make it automated yes, but that's start-up cost - after that the cost of cleaning/sanitizing agent and hot water is absolutely nothing compared to melting the glass. There is simply NO way as far as my knowledge extends that the crazy energy involved in remaking bottles, or even making them from scratch, costs LESS than cleaning them.

Someone could prove me wrong, but this HAS to be the result of some kind of fear mongering about contamination, nothing else makes any sense at all.

That's when you know something is a really good idea, when it makes sense from both left and right views, because in reality BOTH are unrealistic ideologies with no respect to true pragmatism - true pragmatism is doing what's needed regardless of whether the other side may have come up with the idea, and understanding that the other side does indeed sometimes understand some things better than one's own side.

And that's as close as you'll get to a full out rant from me on left vs right, as a true centerist. ;) ;D

EDIT: And to an earlier post, the unsteady supply doesn't really apply - 99% of beers are in the same generic bottles, so supply is high with reuse, and any time you're short on reused units you just tap into freshly made units. It's really not an issue at all if the company has even a small amount of planning.
 

AngryNord

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 1, 2011
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Redmond Wa.
AToE, in regard to the fear mongering, the U.S. is quite good at that. Fear of contamination is what it's about. I can't speak for anywhere else, but here the rules regarding re-use are fairly strict, and cost prohibitive to the winery/brewhouse/whatever. If, for example, someone had stored (gasp) anthrax in a bottle and recycled it (it's a stretch, I know), then I would have to prove without a doubt that anything left in there was washed out or inert by sending a sample out to be tested by the FDA after bottling and before shipping or by going through such a long drawn out cleaning proccess that a new bottle is around %15 cheaper. That is my understanding of the rules here, and the reason it was nixed from my buisness plans. Could be slightly wrong, but if only half of it is correct it still adds up monetarily.

As for the odd bottle size thing, I don't see a lot of store bought mead in beer bottles where I live, but it would be a nice addition. I can't honestly see a reason not to do it, but it doesn't seem to happen. And wine bottles are of so many varied sizes here in Washington I daresay it would be hard to package much without sorting by hight/width beforehand unless the recycling plant sorts them(?), and if you ended up with too many differences you could get broken bottles in shipping due to too much room in containers. McMaster ruined two flasks for me this year shipping them wrong(dang FedEx), they had to pay. I wouldn't want to be replacing broken bottles if I was producing on a large scale.
 

AToE

NewBee
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Jun 8, 2009
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Calgary AB Canada
Ok, I see what you mean - the cost of proving that every bottle is anthrax free (for hilarious example!) is more that that of making a new bottle. THAT I buy completely, makes sense. Maybe the trick is just not to tell people! I know up here most people don't know the bottles are reused... sometimes the public/majority is just wrong and needs to just be handed something and told it's ok! Doesn't work for everything obviously, but in this case...

As for different sizes, we don't seem to have too crazy many that human labour or machine couldn't handle it. I haven't seen wine bottles with reuse marks on them up here though, so those may well be melted, it's just the beer bottles I know are resused.
 

AngryNord

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 1, 2011
14
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0
Redmond Wa.
Well here we have such a cut-throat wine industry that you have to do advertising by bottle shape as well as label, nobody has any money left over for actual marketing. Seems silly, but true. There at least 20 wineries where I work within 5 miles, and I don't know them all. Another reason to try the bag, no?
 

TheAlchemist

I am Meadlemania
GotMead Patron
Sep 9, 2010
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When I was a girl we hailed the arrival of "no deposit no return" bottles as something wonderful. Prior to that, soda bottles were reused. I remember RC Cola bottles with chipped paint on them from repeated re-use. Now I rue that day.
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
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Apr 27, 2010
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We're dating ourselves, recalling when pop was still sold in glass bottles ;D and I definitely remember those being all scratched to heck!
 

Soyala_Amaya

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 21, 2011
991
6
0
Missouri
Well, I know we're all doing OUR part at least! (I've probably got a few dozen cases of bottles in corners and racks, and only one was bought new because I asked my boyfriend for a specific size and the LHBS didn't have any used in that size that day.)
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
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Apr 27, 2010
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I get a case of cobalt blue ones when I feel like it, they're too pretty not to... and I also end up buying the 375 ml bottles, I never seem to get most of those back.