Re: Refillable Bottles

carol (
Thu, 20 May 1999 23:59:34 -0400

Where is some research on the environmental impact of refillables
vs. recyclables? The PET bottles are supposedly a high-quality
source for e.g. artificial down (I've heard that Patagonia clothes are
made almost entirely from this--a rumor?). Refillables presumbly
have to be hauled back to the appropriate places for refilling; doesn't
this consume resources too? I thought that recycled PET was an
adequate solution to the bottles problem. (Why isn't beer put in
PET bottles, anyway?)


----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Cc: <>; <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: Refillable Bottles

> on 05/18/99 10:27:49 AM
> To:
> cc:
> 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
> Action in Austin,
> I could not find anyone interested in waging a campaign on the issue,
> fellow board
> members of the National Recycling Coalition. There just wasn't a major
> constituency
> for returnables. We (Ecology Action) profited for a little while by
> the longnecks
> we received and providing one of the few reliable sources of refillable
> 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
> 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
> one
> 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
> work?
> Will this listserve support such a discussion?
> Larry
> 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
> 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
> 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
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