Don’t throw it away, return it to a store and give another life to the bottle
According to analyzes by manufacturers , the average life cycle of the returnable bottle ranges from 15 to 26 times, so in order not to waste glass packaging, the Żabka chain of stores initiated the action of delivering back bottles to over 8,400 stores throughout Poland. During this period, the customer returning a bottle to a store will receive a discount of 50 gr for the purchase of beer in a returnable bottle. The action applies to all beers of the most popular brands and will last until August 30, 2022.
Environment will benefit
– The action is primarily educational in nature – it is supposed to remind customers that the returnable bottle system is an environmental protection action. Żabka chain points out why returnable bottles should be put back into circulation, not into the waste bin or container for recyclable glass. One reason is that the production of a new bottle is more environmentally damaging than the re-use of a previously produced and used bottle – says Joanna Kasowska, Food Quality and Standards Director, Żabka Polska.
Żabka works with beer producers to increase the reuse of returnable beer bottles, which can be used to reduce CO₂ emissions compared to the production and use of disposable bottles. It is worth remembering that. But this is not the only advantage of the returnable bottle system. By delivering back such a bottle, customers also get their money back by receiving a deposit refund. In doing so, they also reduce the mass of waste entering landfills and reduce the volume of new glass packaging production.
– As a chain reaching several million customers across Poland, we can have a real impact on consumer habits and encourage the return of reusable bottles so that they can be reused. We believe that this type of action is a good way to inform customers about how important even small gestures are to the environment like returning a bottle – adds Jerzy Roguski, Commercial and Business Development Director, Żabka Polska.
It is worth noting that some manufacturers mark reusable bottles with a special mark – they are two arrows – one above the other. Often, bottles also carry additional manufacturer markings – most often icons or the words “returnable bottle” to help consumers decide what to do with the empty packaging.
Żabka recalls: returnable bottles must not be thrown away into glass containers
A returnable bottle is made of glass, so in fact, it is not a mistake – it could go into a “green” container, but it is a low-ecological solution! The most environmentally preferable approach is to return the bottle marked as reusable packaging back to the store. By doing this, we give it the chance to be reused up to 20 times! Throwing such a bottle into the bin is not beneficial for the environment for several reasons: it will not be re-circulated, and the production of a new bottle entails the need to consume, among other things, the energy needed to produce it, and this entails greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. In the case of non-returnable bottles, the green waste glass basket is the most appropriate place for them to go for recycling.
Production of 1 ton of glass
Reusable bottles in the brewing industry in Poland account for 45% of all packaging (45% are aluminum cans, 5% are non-returnable bottles, and 5% are KEG packaging). Replacing a reusable bottle with a single-use bottle would mean 1 million tons of glass to be recycled annually. The average life cycle of a returnable bottle ranges from 15 to up to 26 times! The glass returnable bottle can therefore replace on average about 20 non-returnable bottles. This is saving a huge amount of raw materials. According to the data of the Polish Breweries presented in the infographic “Reusable bottle in the brewing sector”, the production of 1 ton of glass requires the consumption of an average of 1.1 MW of power per bottle and 800 kg of sand, 280 kg of calcium, 230 kg of soda and 30 kg of dyes per ton of glass. Moreover, the production of 1 ton of glass also causes the production of approx. 10 m3 of sewage. The efficiency of the current system for a returnable bottle of beer is approx. 90% – which means losing just 1 in 10 bottles. By delivering back bottles to stores, Żabka customers contribute to maintaining this high efficiency and environmental protection.
– A returnable glass bottle is a good solution in two ways. It is made of more than half of the glass cullet, that is, recycled material, and in addition, it is reusable packaging – the glass does not age. Just return the bottle to the store from which it will go to the brewery, it will be washed and refilled. The returnability of bottles has a very large impact on the carbon footprint of our packaging. We do our best to keep them circulating in the market as long as possible, but it is up to consumers how many „lives”, that is refills, they will have – adds Teresa Aldea, Sustainability Manager, Carlsberg Polska.
Żabka gives a discount for returnable bottles
A returnable bottle is environmentally friendly packaging, so it is worth remembering the possibility of returning the bottle when buying beer beverages in Żabka. The actions of Żabka and producers concern beers, including non-alcoholic beers, in returnable bottles from the list, which is available among others, in the action rules, including empty beer bottles purchased outside the Żabka chain. The return of the bottle will allow a customer to gain a discount of 50 gr for the purchase of another bottle of beer. The discount depends on the number of beer bottles purchased. The limit per receipt is 20 pcs. of bottles per a single transaction.
More about the priorities and activities of Żabka Group in the area of responsibility can be found here: ESG.