Why are wine bottles not reused?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

When I was a child beer, lemonade and water bottles were all glass and all carried a deposit of between one or two shillings and children would collect all bottles that others could not be bothered to return to the stores.

While there never was, as far as I can recall, a program of taking back wine bottles I cannot see why such a program cannot and should not be set up.

No glass bottle or glass jar should ever go into the recycling bin and be broken up and melted down to make new, whether bottles or whatever, until such a time that it is actually broken, as glass can be reused infinitively.

Wine bottles are, in general, all the same shape and size and colors – green for white wine and brown for red wine – with but a few exceptions.

It simply does not make sense to break up bottles, whether wine or other, and melt them down to make new. All of this takes energy, and lots of it. The only thing that is needed is cleaning the bottles, sterilizing (which is done anyway even with new ones) and then refilling them. They all fit on the bottling plant no problem.

Glass bottles, as said, can be reused forever and a day, basically, by simply cleaning them and hence no glass bottle or -jar, for that matter, ever would need to be broken up, ground down and then melted down.

Wine bottles, whether screw top or cork, are all the same shape and size, basically, and also, as said, come, primarily in two, maximum three, colors. The third color is a pinkish color for the Rose wines. Therefore they all can be reused and do not need to end up broken and remade which, as said, all costs energy and even though working from glass to glass takes less energy it still does about 200times as much as simple washing and cleaning.

Beer bottles should go back to the brewers whence they came to be cleaned and refilled and – in fact – all beer should come again in bottles so this can indeed be done.. This used to be done and still is, in fact, being done by some brewers.

Wine bottles, bar a few, could just simply be reused by any vineyard as green is, as said, for white wine, brown for red wine and the lighter pinkish ones for the rarer Rose wine.

Maybe this is an idea for a green business: collecting and reselling used wine bottles back to the wine producers?

© 2010