Kererū Brewing Co. in New Zealand has built its brewery on two tenants: support the local economy and support the longevity of the earth. Selling its craft beers in glass bottles made by O-I Glass is one way the brewery makes progress on both of its goals.
“My personal feeling about sustainability is that it’s a planet that we’re borrowing, and we really ought better to return it better than we found it,” says Chris Mills, owner of Kererū Brewing Co. “We do everything we can that’s practical to try to lower our impact.”
One way Mills minimizes the brewery’s footprint is by sourcing brewing supplies locally, from hops in Marlborough to malt from Christchurch and glass bottles from O-I’s Auckland plant. When brewing supplies travel a shorter distance, it cuts emissions, and it also financially supports the area’s local farmers and suppliers.
Beyond being local, Mills knows that putting his beer in glass bottles has numerous earth-friendly benefits. Glass packaging can be recycled back into a glass container again and again, and he values that by using bottles made primarily with recycled glass. This makes his craft brewery an integral part of a circular economy that’s using recycled goods instead of raw materials.
“Recycled products that we use are very, very important,” he says. “Seventy-five percent of the amber glass that’s going into our packaging is recycled through curbside recycling in New Zealand is amazing. It means we are lowering our footprint overall.”