Raw Materials & Waste, Social, Sustainability News – June 19, 2020 – Katie Johnson

O-I Melbourne and Two Birds Brewing Create Community, Sustainability Through Glass

As part of a rebranding campaign, Australia’s Two Birds Brewing is telling beer lovers about glass’s earth-friendly benefits. 

Two Birds Brewing in Spotswood, Victoria, a Melbourne suburb, cares about the environment. Co-founders Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen love that the results of their hard work are presented to beer lovers in a pure, natural, glass bottle. They also love that their bottles are recycled and repurposed by a business in their same Spotswood neighborhood at O-I’s Melbourne plant, which is less than one mile away. 

“Fifty percent of the glass that makes our bottles comes from recycled glass and it’s all processed here in Australia,” says Lewis. “Within 30 days of it being put into recycling bins it can be back being filled with our beer.” 

Glass is a perfect resource for creating a circular economy to reuse materials in manufacturing, versus the “take, make, dispose” production model. Glass is infinitely recyclable and, when correctly recycled, can go from recycling bin back to the store shelf as a new glass container in as little as 30 days. Glass can be recycled again and again without losing quality, integrity or purity. 

One example of the brewery’s earth-friendly habits is returning bottles they can’t use in production directly back to O-I Glass; they don’t place the bottles into commingled recycling. This reduces the traveling distance for the product–which leaves a smaller carbon footprint than if the bottles were shopped out of the country–and supports the brewery’s local economy. 

Two Birds wants beer drinkers to know they value glass bottles. The brewery touts glass’s natural ingredients and recyclability in video on social media. The video parallels the glass making and beer brewing process, highlighting each product’s four natural ingredients – glass is made of sand, limestone, soda ash and recycled glass, while beer’s four primary ingredients are water, yeast, hops and malt. The brewery’s tagline “Buy Local, Buy Recycled” reinforces the values of local and sustainable. 

Partnerships like the one between Two Birds Brewing and O-I Glass show that when two companies who care about leaving the planet a better place work together, good things happen.