Un-TreeHugger: Beer in a Pouch
Photo via Dvice
When we first saw the CarboPouch on Dvice, we figured it for a rather silly product that had more cons than pros, but we could at least think of some pros. However, we caught a glimpse of something on their website that is a big TreeHugger no-no, and sent it straight to the Un-TreeHugger bin.While taking a gander at the CarboPouch by The Beverage Pouch Group - so named because this version is designed for the carbonation of beer (wouldn't want it exploding and all) - we figured there could potentially be some up-sides. For instance, it could potentially require fewer materials than traditional bottling, like caps, filling hardware and so on.
But, it's not as durable as traditional bottles or cans, is single use without recyclability (we'll get to more of that in a bit..) and isn't a system that can be taken mainstream for big companies. Should it be something that went big, it would reduce the number of bottles that could be reused by homebrewers. We were going to leave it at that, but then we saw a glaring key word on the company's homepage: "sustainable." Say what??
BPG is a prolific innovator of pouch designs and structures for lifestyle beverages, including natural flavor waters, all types of cocktails and straight spirits, wines and draft beers in patented soft portable single serve and sustainable StandUp pouches.
Wait...what's that about single use packaging being sustainable? We dug in and saw that another of their products, the BevPaq, is plain old greenwashed:
It comes in an environmentally friendly StandUp pouch with an Envosmart™ TE spout fitment that consumes 95% less waste and prevents chemical leaching of water in a landfill. However, with today’s energy crisis, the pouch is best incinerated after use and produces vital energy and lessens the dependence on oil.
Where do we start with the errors in logic here? First, "consume less waste"? How might a beverage pouch consume waste in the first place, let alone less of it? And anything that requires incineration as the more eco-friendly disposal option is simply not sustainable.
One final jab, not having this product at all would more significantly help lessen our dependence on oil than having it, using it once, and incinerating it for the tiny fraction of heat energy it might provide to us (but odds are REALLY good that it'll hit the landfill, not a waste-to-energy plant).
To leave this post on a high note, the CarboPouch did spark some hilarious discussion among us TreeHuggers over the most sustainable and enjoyable ways to get beer from source to mouth.