Refillable Bottles for Better Tasting Milk and Beer


We have suggested before that there should be deposits on everything; there aren't, but at least where I live I can drink both beer and milk from refilled glass containers. In the Now Magazine Earth Day Edition, Paul Terefenko looks at both beer and milk, and explains why it is better.


In Ontario, beer is sold in the Beer Store, a cooperative owned by the breweries, so it is easy to control the comings and goings. They have been doing it for a while:

If you were told a retailer hadn't changed its packaging policies since 1927, you might be wary of its enviro impact. But the Beer Store's bottle cycle still puts most other retailers to shame.

"What's unusual about us is that people forget they're being environmentally friendly, because it's just something we've always done," says Sara J. Taylor, manager of communications at the Beer Store.

The Store boasts a system-wide recovery rate of 98 per cent, based on an industry-standard bottle (ISB). "It's used by the majority of brewers," says Taylor of the brown long-necked bottle typical of beers like Labatt Blue or Coors Light. In fact, there's a good chance the same glass bottle will find itself containing both beer brands at some point.

More on beer in refillable bottles: Praise a glass

Our Harmony Organic Milk comes with the silly phrase "You can whip our Cream,
but you can't beat our Milk."
but it also comes in a refillable glass bottle and just tastes better than milk in plastic or cardboard. Paul Terfenko talks to the farmer:
"Milk belongs in a glass bottle," says Robert Kuenzlen, director of marketing at Harmony Organics. For seven years, the Hagersville, Ontario, dairy brand has been using a 1-litre glass bottle for its milk (500 ml for cream), and Kuenzlen gives plenty of good reasons why.

"It's consistent with our philosophy — the way we farm, the way we treat our animals and being aware of the impact we have," he says.

"If you're a producer and you can use a disposable product, you don't worry about it after it leaves the plant. It's somebody else's issue, whereas we have a life cycle we're committed to," says Kuenzlen.

More on milk in bottles: The cream of milk containers

Paul also takes a whack at one of our favourite greewashes: Tetra Paks.

More in Now Magazine Earth Day Edition

More on deposit systems:
Milk Delivery Returns to Manhattan
It's Time for Deposits. On Everything.
Toronto Considering Deposits On Everything
Coffee Beans in Returnable Bottles from Balluchon

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