Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Demand the numbers to justify glass bottle use instead of plastic!

I spotted a story about dairies returning to glass bottles as a means of cutting down on the number of disposable, or ‘single use’ plastic bottles being used to supply milk to their customers.

There is NO ANALYSIS given for this change, other than the implication that it is better to use glass bottles since they can be reused, while plastic bottles are not reused, therefore this cuts the number of plastic bottles being discarded into the environment.

While that may sound like a good and honourable intention, it may be not be the environmentally sound gem it is presented as.

We need FULL disclosure of this scheme, and proof that it not only cuts plastic bottle numbers, but also has no other adverse effects on the environment, which could negate those apparent savings.

Some years ago I was doing some work for a major Scottish drink supplier.

One of the perks was a tour of the factory, which at that time was brand new and just being commissioned, to replace their old plant in Glasgow, which they had just moved from.

On seeing the plastic bottle manufacturing and bottling area, I asked about their glass bottle lines.

I learned that this was not an option in the new factory.

In designing the new plant, they had analysed the energy/waste/pollution fingerprint of their glass bottles (which were then being reused), and found that it was more economic, particularly in terms of energy/fuel costs to use plastic bottles.

The WHOLE LIFE cost of glass, despite being reused, was greater than that of plastic, with breakages, additional transport and handling, and the energy demands of remelting broken glass driving this figure up.

And this was before CO2 was really taken into account, so the energy used to make new bottles, or to recycle old glass, wasn’t really taken into account then.

All I’m saying is that this story makes a lot of noise about cutting the number of plastic bottle by using glass.

But, says nothing about any other aspect of using, or reusing glass instead of plastic.

We should have the FULL account of the impact of this change.

Do you think they may all have been so happy about the rise in glass that…

MAYBE NOBODY HAS BOTHERED TO CHECK THE NUMBERS?

It wouldn’t be the first time something ‘obvious’ turned out to be wrong.

A dairy firm has seen a huge surge in demand for glass milk bottles as more people try to reduce their plastic waste.

Over the past year, Kerr’s Dairy in Tayside has seen sales for glass bottles triple.

Bosses reckon the soar in demand is due to a rise in documentaries and news reports on the effects plastic has on the environment.

Director of Kerr’s Family Dairy, Kelvin Kerr said: “Attitudes have changed in the way people use plastic.

“I think it’s because there’s a lot of stuff on TV about how plastic can damage the environment.

“Milk is a household need so by switching your plastic to glass it’s a good way to start helping the environment.”

Kerr’s Dairy has seen the uptake in glass soar over the last year.

Kelvin added: “Even if we just look at the last two weeks our sales for glass bottles have gone up by 700 bottles this week alone.

“Over the last year our sales for glass bottles have tripled.”

Glass milk bottles make comeback in bid to cut plastic use

Glass Bottle Memories

Glass Bottle Memories

I don’t know the answer to this one, just that I had my eyes opened by a big company that would have jumped on glass had it been right for their drinks.

It’s a complex issue, where variables like number of bottle journeys, weight, energy to manufacture, pollution (no only from disposal, but also manufacture), transport of material, storage, costs, and many more need to be taken into account for each case.

All I’m saying is it should be done, not just assumed.

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Dec 19, 2018 - Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , ,

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