[GRRN] Fw: Refillable Bottles

Carol Slechta (slechta@manthasoft.com)
Fri, 21 May 1999 17:13:49 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Carol Slechta <slechta@manthasoft.com>
To: Mary Tkach <Mtkach@aveda.com>; 'carol' <slechta@vnet.net>
Cc: WCARTER@tnrcc.state.tx.us <WCARTER@tnrcc.state.tx.us>;
greenyes@earthsystems.org <greenyes@earthsystems.org>
Date: Friday, May 21, 1999 5:09 PM
Subject: Re: Refillable Bottles

>I'm not sure closing the loop is as important as the
>length of the loop (in time). There's no real closed loop
>since transport, refilling, cleaning, repairing, and
>remanufacturing the same container also have costs.
>It seems to me that effectively slowing down the phase
>between raw material and landfill is ecological, all other
>things (like emissions and transport effects) being equal.
>If PET bottles subsist as a vest for ten years before
>ending up in a landfill, that might even be more effective
>than being re-used as a bottle for x times and then melted
>down again into another bottle w/ those air pollution
>As for "bottle to vest to landfill," apparently re-use of
>textiles is a big industry, with old clothes being sorted
>according to their attractiveness to various countries,
>then resold, and if unusable, ending up
>processed into felt for mattresses (which have a long
>life as usable products). There was a special on Bravo
>about the fashion industry which covered this.
>I doubt many people throw clothes into
>the trash; they go through a long re-use process then
>to SA/Goodwill which I suspect are major recylers.
>Let's say that due to various reasons (like weight, which
>uses up transport energy), PET is here to stay. I would
>still like to see those numbers on how often it can be
>re-used and what happens when it is melted down again
>for another bottle/product. (Lies, damn lies, and statistics.)
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mary Tkach <Mtkach@aveda.com>
>To: 'carol' <slechta@vnet.net>
>Date: Friday, May 21, 1999 9:51 AM
>Subject: RE: Refillable Bottles
>>Bottles, to bottles to bottles is better than bottles to vest to landfill.
>>There are people out there who can put some hard numbers behind that
>>concept...common sense and nature say "close the loop."
>>Just a thought.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: carol [mailto:slechta@vnet.net]
>>Sent: Thursday, May 20, 1999 11:00 PM
>>To: multiple recipients of
>>Cc: WCARTER@tnrcc.state.tx.us; greenyes@earthsystems.org
>>Subject: Re: Refillable Bottles
>>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: <Martin.Lawrence@epamail.epa.gov>
>>To: <cri@igc.org>
>>Cc: <WCARTER@tnrcc.state.tx.us>; <greenyes@earthsystems.org>
>>Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 11:14 AM
>>Subject: Re: Refillable Bottles
>>> cri@igc.org on 05/18/99 10:27:49 AM
>>> To: greenyes@earthsystems.org
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> & 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
>>> interested in trying to promote refillable beverage bottles. There are
>>> other ngo's that are also interested (Institute for Local Self Reliance
>>> name one).
>>> The refillable Pet (REFPET) bottle you referred to is also used widely
>>> Europe. Regarding your question about market share of refillable
>>bottles --
>>> approximately 1% of soft drink containers were refillable bottles in
>>> (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
>>> 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
>>> higher than average refillable market share --- IN - 8%, DE - 6%, MN -
>>> 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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>> To post to the greenyes list, send a letter to:
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>>unsubscribe. If you have any problems, please
>>write to www@earthsystems.org.
>> GreenYes is archived on the GrassRoots Recycling
>>Network web site: http://www.grrn.org