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Guinlilly
11-23-2011, 11:41 AM
http://gizmodo.com/5861146/will-wine-snobs-embrace-a-paper-bottle

Interesting article about bottles made of paper. The inside is actually lined with the material wine bags are made of.

Chevette Girl
11-23-2011, 01:07 PM
That's neat. I wonder how the corking works?

wildoates
11-23-2011, 01:09 PM
Screw tops?

skunkboy
11-23-2011, 05:58 PM
Gonna have to plastic coat them or something, else I see the bottles having issues with moisture and decomposing...

Guinlilly
11-23-2011, 08:57 PM
Gonna have to plastic coat them or something, else I see the bottles having issues with moisture and decomposing...

They are lined with the same bladder that gets used for wine in a box.

Soyala_Amaya
11-23-2011, 10:32 PM
I know the article says it has '10% of the carbon footprint" but what about the renewability of the process. I just know that paper is made from trees and glass is made from silica, one of the most common elements on the planet.

Chevette Girl
11-23-2011, 10:41 PM
It takes a LOT of energy to make glass out of silica, and you can use other things than trees to make paper. Like hemp :) or recycled paper...

AToE
11-24-2011, 05:28 AM
One of the other major issues with glass is weight - to transport the same volume of liquid in glass vs plastic vs "tetrapack" or whatever costs/consumes more.

Comparing things becomes extremely complicated. One thing to remember too is that a great deal of pulp that becomes paper was never good wood, it's the sawdust and excess from cutting good wood into planks (which is why with paper "recycled" is a meaning less term, it's almost all recycled, what you want is "post consumer recycled").

Hemp and bamboo are the answers to a lot of the consumption problems we have, hemp unfortunately had a run in with cotton a long while back and cotton won in the courtrooms/politics. ;)

Soyala_Amaya
11-24-2011, 11:01 AM
Ok, that guy tells me he's making the bottles out of 'post consumer recycled paper', bamboo, or hemp, or something else like that, I'm cool. But I"ve driven through towns in Kansas that had paper mills glose down 60 years ago when my dad was a kid and the entire town STILL stinks of pollution, chemical, and rot. Maybe paper's come a long way, maybe I just haven't done the research because of stories from my dad about how essential the paper mill was to their local economy, but how any kid that actually lived near their was constantly made fun of for stench.

It's most likely a background issue for me and I need to do more research...but I still can't see paper being that great of a recyclable when it's created from non renewable resources.

Chevette Girl
11-24-2011, 12:05 PM
They actually run a fermentation on paper pulp that releases a lot of sulphur when it loosens up the fibres (maybe they need better nutrients!), that's what most of the stink is. And you'd think wood chips would compost well but my husband's family has a cottage around the corner from where a wood mill used to be and the sawdust pile's as big as a house and has been there for decades too.

AToE, at Thanksgiving this year I collected the wine bottles and two or three of them advertised that they were lightweight bottles, something like 15% less glass to save on shipping and production.

Duracell
11-24-2011, 03:10 PM
The real question is will it be reusable for the home brewer? I consider reusing my wine bottles for mead as recycling in an eco friendly way. They don't end up in a landfill so I'm not adding to the "problem".

Now, if these bottles catch on we have to look 10+ years in the future when real glass bottles would become quite rare, wouldn't you think? Then buying a case of reusable glass bottles would make you look like a non-eco friendly person because you're not using recyclable bottles!

Maybe we'll all be homebrewing into plastic water bottles by then anyway, who knows!?!

wildoates
11-24-2011, 03:33 PM
Recycling paper is not at all good for the environment, which is why I don't recycle it. There are items that are worth recycling, but paper's not one of them. :p

AToE
11-24-2011, 07:45 PM
I've had some questions about that myself, but I have yet to find any hard data that really proves to me one way or the other whether recycling paper does more or less damage than just tossing it and using new paper... I err on the side of recycling it until I find the data though because so far I see more experts saying it's good than that it's bad... just not at the point where I personally understand everything involved well enough yet. Need to do more digging.

At the end of the day recycling is largely bandaid anyways, reducing consumption in the first place is far more effective (instead of buying bottles of water all the time, buy a few and keep refilling them being one obvious example).

Or as said above, keep reusing bottles for homebrew, great example of simply reducing consumption in the first place (as is homebrew itself actually, far less shipping pollution involved per drink, FAR less).

Chevette Girl
11-24-2011, 09:27 PM
Or as said above, keep reusing bottles for homebrew, great example of simply reducing consumption in the first place (as is homebrew itself actually, far less shipping pollution involved per drink, FAR less).

I was going to point out that in comparing reusing versus recycling, reusing is best in our case but not so feasible for a large-scale producer, I don't believe they're permitted to reuse wine bottles, are they?

There are a lot of factors to weigh, we did a study one time in university on which used more energy and resources, cloth or disposable diapers, and they came out about the same... just differently applied.

Guinlilly
11-24-2011, 11:06 PM
I was going to point out that in comparing reusing versus recycling, reusing is best in our case but not so feasible for a large-scale producer, I don't believe they're permitted to reuse wine bottles, are they?

There are a lot of factors to weigh, we did a study one time in university on which used more energy and resources, cloth or disposable diapers, and they came out about the same... just differently applied.

No they can not reuse bottles and if there is a problem with any wine/beer that has been bottled or if it is a shortfill, it gets poured out and the bottles broken and thrown away. We get a LOT of champagne style bottles this way from DFH. As homebrewers, I honestly think glass is the better way to go, but for a pro a bottle like this may cut cost.

Also, glass bottles aren't as easy to come by as some might think. DFH had run into a shortage of bottles because there was a shortage of the right type of silica - not all silica is created equal.

wildoates
11-24-2011, 11:19 PM
I'd think that if ANY brewery would come up with a crazy-fun bottling alternative it'd be DFH. :)

AToE
11-25-2011, 12:52 AM
I have no idea about wine bottles in Canada, and I know in the US glass bottles aren't reused, they're melted down and remade.

But in Canada beer bottles are just straight up refilled. You can tell when you've got a really old one in your hand because it looks like it's been lightly sandblasted around the top and bottom of the widest part... this method is so far superior to melting and remaking that it frankly blows my mind that it isn't the standard everywhere. ???

wildoates
11-25-2011, 01:01 AM
Back in the ancient times (when Wayne, Dan, and I were younglings) most bottles were collected, washed, and reused. Pity they still aren't. They reuse glass soda bottles in Norway, and beer too, I think.

AToE
11-25-2011, 01:24 AM
Back in the ancient times (when Wayne, Dan, and I were younglings) most bottles were collected, washed, and reused. Pity they still aren't. They reuse glass soda bottles in Norway, and beer too, I think.

What happened to make it stop? I just can't fathom why they'd melt the intact ones!

Chevette Girl
11-25-2011, 01:38 AM
I bet certain agencies have declared the practice unsanitary... all it would take is a lawsuit or two...

and I haven't seen an "old" beer bottle in years (although I don't drink that much bottled beer so this may not be a valid data point)

wildoates
11-25-2011, 01:45 AM
Got me, Alan, perhaps CG has the right of it, although there isn't much that is as easily sterilizable as a glass bottle, so I dunno.

AToE
11-25-2011, 02:21 AM
It must be some silly thing about sanitation, that's the only thing I can think of that would convince people to switch to a process that must use thousands and thousands of times more resources.

Seems odd though.

Soyala_Amaya
11-25-2011, 02:15 PM
http://www.bottlebill.org/about/whatis.htm

Several states are trying to get the deposit bottle back, but company's, the beverage companies and the grocery stores, don't want to pay for the hassle. It take people, space, effort, and new equipment. Yay capitalism!

wildoates
11-25-2011, 02:56 PM
Yay, capitalism, indeed. If you want something to work, you need to demonstrate its superiority to other ways of doing a thing. If it's truly better, it'll win the day. If not, figure out a way to make it so it does work better. Businesses can only stay in business if they think this way, because we all want best value for our nickel and few of us are so self-sufficient that we can eschew production line products entirely.

So...how to persuade the grocery that dedicating space to the collection of reusable bottles makes good business sense? How to persuade the consumer that battered, non-uniform wine and beer and soda bottles make good ecological sense? Who is going to do the math to see how much sorting, washing, and distribution of returned bottles compares with just melting down the glass and starting over?!

Soyala_Amaya
11-25-2011, 02:59 PM
So...how to persuade the grocery that dedicating space to the collection of reusable bottles makes good business sense? How to persuade the consumer that battered, non-uniform wine and beer and soda bottles make good ecological sense? Who is going to do the math to see how much sorting, washing, and distribution of returned bottles compares with just melting down the glass and starting over?!

There's actually a lot of those question's answered on the site I posted, BUT I recognize a lot of them are probably skewed from a 'left wing environmentalist tree-hugger' perspective. To truly see the entire issue, one would need information from both sides.

wildoates
11-25-2011, 03:12 PM
Exactly my point. the problem with ideology--however gloriously unfettered and hopeful it is--is that it is always trumped by cold, hard, reality.

Dangnabit. :)

If we want people to do something our way, we need to demonstrate how they can make money by doing it our way, plain and simple, because if there is one thing in this world that is NOT zero-sum, it's wealth. Michael Moore might be one of the 1%, but I don't have to take a dime out of his pocket to make my own fortune if I can convince people that my way of dealing with bottles is going to be be both cheaper and better than the system we've got going now.

Unfortunately, I'm just a humble public school teacher and I have no idea how to actually do that. :)

AToE
11-25-2011, 03:20 PM
It has to be the cheaper way to do it, that's how India does it (their bottles look totally sandblasted!) and you know they're looking at the cheapest possible method.

Here I think it's split into 2 categories, bottles that are specific to brand are rebought by the brand/brewery, which is obviously cheaper for them than buying new bottles. The generic ones (vast majority) I imagine are bought up by either specific breweries or large bottle companies.

As far as I know all/much of the costs involved are pretty much covered by the deposit on the bottles.

Seems to me it works better regardless of ideology.

Chevette Girl
11-26-2011, 01:56 AM
Well, the Beer Store in Ontario not only refunds your beer deposit when you return the empties, but they also pay you $.10 per bottle if you return wine bottle to them as well. But I still have no idea where the bottles go, whether they're sold back to wineries or whether they're melted down into new bottles... I suppose the internet might have answers but I'm too lazy to look right now. I just know that I've never gotten a bottle of wine or beer in the last decade that looks "used".

AngryNord
11-26-2011, 07:29 PM
My two cents.
If my understanding of it is correct, reuse of bottles is a bit more expensive that new bottles, at least in the states, as the FDA wants to assure no contamination occurs. The cost of total and assured sanitizing of them to meet certain guidlines is more costly than simply buying new bottles. Also if you don't have a steady supply of bottles that are all the same type shipping costs can increase by a fair margin. But for home use I encourage it all I can, I have a good number of bottles in my shed right now waiting for future use.
And going to the op, I wonder what the extra cost of special shipping containers is for a full-scale production run? For example, have you ever noticed when opening a can of uncarbonated tea or maybe Gatorade it still pops? They actually pressurize them to increase the top-load capabilities of the container so they can use a thinner container, thereby reducing shipping cost. I can see problems in doing this with a paper container. Not that I don't think it is a good idea. I actually would like to see something like this used more.

wildoates
11-26-2011, 07:30 PM
India has cheap labor, though, neither the US nor Canada does in comparison. In Norway they reuse their plastic soda bottles, which are much sturdier than ours are, but they've got government-subsidized wages that aren't practical in any country without billions of oil Kroner coming into government coffers. We pay a deposit on bottles and cans here in CA, but it's for recycling, not reuse, and is a net loss for the state in any event.

Of course, almost everything CA does lately is a net loss, God help my native state!

AToE
11-27-2011, 02:47 AM
India has cheap labor, though, neither the US nor Canada does in comparison. In Norway they reuse their plastic soda bottles, which are much sturdier than ours are, but they've got government-subsidized wages that aren't practical in any country without billions of oil Kroner coming into government coffers. We pay a deposit on bottles and cans here in CA, but it's for recycling, not reuse, and is a net loss for the state in any event.

Of course, almost everything CA does lately is a net loss, God help my native state!


You answered your concern about labour in your own post though - India's cheap labour of course always plays in, but cannot be the deciding factor here, because as you say Canada has the same high labour costs as the USA (higher actually, because we don't have as much undocumented labour), and it's only the USA that doesn't clean and reuse the bottles.

I need to see numbers from anyone claiming (not you, just saying anyone) that cleaning bottles costs more than melting them and making them into new bottles. Glass takes a LOT of heat to melt, properly cleaning bottles requires some equipment to make it automated yes, but that's start-up cost - after that the cost of cleaning/sanitizing agent and hot water is absolutely nothing compared to melting the glass. There is simply NO way as far as my knowledge extends that the crazy energy involved in remaking bottles, or even making them from scratch, costs LESS than cleaning them.

Someone could prove me wrong, but this HAS to be the result of some kind of fear mongering about contamination, nothing else makes any sense at all.

That's when you know something is a really good idea, when it makes sense from both left and right views, because in reality BOTH are unrealistic ideologies with no respect to true pragmatism - true pragmatism is doing what's needed regardless of whether the other side may have come up with the idea, and understanding that the other side does indeed sometimes understand some things better than one's own side.

And that's as close as you'll get to a full out rant from me on left vs right, as a true centerist. ;) ;D

EDIT: And to an earlier post, the unsteady supply doesn't really apply - 99% of beers are in the same generic bottles, so supply is high with reuse, and any time you're short on reused units you just tap into freshly made units. It's really not an issue at all if the company has even a small amount of planning.

AngryNord
11-27-2011, 03:27 AM
AToE, in regard to the fear mongering, the U.S. is quite good at that. Fear of contamination is what it's about. I can't speak for anywhere else, but here the rules regarding re-use are fairly strict, and cost prohibitive to the winery/brewhouse/whatever. If, for example, someone had stored (gasp) anthrax in a bottle and recycled it (it's a stretch, I know), then I would have to prove without a doubt that anything left in there was washed out or inert by sending a sample out to be tested by the FDA after bottling and before shipping or by going through such a long drawn out cleaning proccess that a new bottle is around %15 cheaper. That is my understanding of the rules here, and the reason it was nixed from my buisness plans. Could be slightly wrong, but if only half of it is correct it still adds up monetarily.

As for the odd bottle size thing, I don't see a lot of store bought mead in beer bottles where I live, but it would be a nice addition. I can't honestly see a reason not to do it, but it doesn't seem to happen. And wine bottles are of so many varied sizes here in Washington I daresay it would be hard to package much without sorting by hight/width beforehand unless the recycling plant sorts them(?), and if you ended up with too many differences you could get broken bottles in shipping due to too much room in containers. McMaster ruined two flasks for me this year shipping them wrong(dang FedEx), they had to pay. I wouldn't want to be replacing broken bottles if I was producing on a large scale.

AToE
11-27-2011, 03:56 AM
Ok, I see what you mean - the cost of proving that every bottle is anthrax free (for hilarious example!) is more that that of making a new bottle. THAT I buy completely, makes sense. Maybe the trick is just not to tell people! I know up here most people don't know the bottles are reused... sometimes the public/majority is just wrong and needs to just be handed something and told it's ok! Doesn't work for everything obviously, but in this case...

As for different sizes, we don't seem to have too crazy many that human labour or machine couldn't handle it. I haven't seen wine bottles with reuse marks on them up here though, so those may well be melted, it's just the beer bottles I know are resused.

AngryNord
11-27-2011, 04:04 AM
Well here we have such a cut-throat wine industry that you have to do advertising by bottle shape as well as label, nobody has any money left over for actual marketing. Seems silly, but true. There at least 20 wineries where I work within 5 miles, and I don't know them all. Another reason to try the bag, no?

TheAlchemist
11-27-2011, 12:25 PM
When I was a girl we hailed the arrival of "no deposit no return" bottles as something wonderful. Prior to that, soda bottles were reused. I remember RC Cola bottles with chipped paint on them from repeated re-use. Now I rue that day.

Chevette Girl
11-27-2011, 03:21 PM
We're dating ourselves, recalling when pop was still sold in glass bottles ;D and I definitely remember those being all scratched to heck!

Soyala_Amaya
11-27-2011, 11:09 PM
Well, I know we're all doing OUR part at least! (I've probably got a few dozen cases of bottles in corners and racks, and only one was bought new because I asked my boyfriend for a specific size and the LHBS didn't have any used in that size that day.)

Chevette Girl
11-28-2011, 12:08 AM
I get a case of cobalt blue ones when I feel like it, they're too pretty not to... and I also end up buying the 375 ml bottles, I never seem to get most of those back.