Re: Refillable Bottles
Tue, 18 May 1999 11:14:50 -0400 on 05/18/99 10:27:49 AM

Subject: Re: Refillable Bottles

Pat, I think there are quite a number of people who would like to see
refillables back on the
shelves. However, as Bill observed in his posting: "As director of Ecology
Action in Austin,
I could not find anyone interested in waging a campaign on the issue, including
fellow board
members of the National Recycling Coalition. There just wasn't a major
for returnables. We (Ecology Action) profited for a little while by hand-sorting
the longnecks
we received and providing one of the few reliable sources of refillable bottles
to stock the
"last gasp" of the refilling operations in the area."

Unless I miss something, the business constituency for such a campaign has
mostly died out.
Absent that, a nation-wide campaign to bring back refillables would rely on
what? I think it
would have to focus on local regulatory iniatives that would either make
refillables more
economically advantageous or flat out require it. Fees or command and
control. It seems
dubious. But all-the-same, if there was a clever strategy to bring back
refillables, I'd support
it with time. Bill observes: "I have recently learned that there is at least
regional refiller still operating, supplying beer of various makes in
returnable longnecks strictly to the commercial establishment trade (bars
& restaurants in San Antonio, possibly elsewhere) where bulk returns
free of "fake longnecks" can be assured."

Maybe a strategy focused on local breweries serving local metro markets could
Will this listserve support such a discussion?

Bill and anyone else interested in REFILLABLE BOTTLES,

This is one of many old emails that I just can't bring myself to erase.
Every so often I go back into my OLD ones and try to respond. CRI is very
interested in trying to promote refillable beverage bottles. There are
other ngo's that are also interested (Institute for Local Self Reliance to
name one).

The refillable Pet (REFPET) bottle you referred to is also used widely in
Europe. Regarding your question about market share of refillable bottles --
approximately 1% of soft drink containers were refillable bottles in 1997
(mainly small local bottlers who bottle their own brand and an infinitesimal
number of Coke/Pepsi bottlers who still bottle in refillables. And then
there are the old fashioned small 8 oz REFILLABLE COKE bottles that Coke
still makes and sells but does not REFILL.

As for beer, about 3% of beer containers are refillables. As Bill Carter
said, these are mostly in bottle bill states, particularly CT - 10%, MA -
16%, NY - 7%, VT - 8%, IA - 11%). A few non bottle bill states also have a
higher than average refillable market share --- IN - 8%, DE - 6%, MN - 7%,
and PA - 10%.

Anyone else out there interested in a BRING BACK REFILLABLES Campaign?

Hope to hear from you Bill.

Pat Franklin