Eco-conscious beer drinkers will be happy to know an old-world environmental trend is making a comeback.
According to Food and Wine, Oregon will be the first state to launch a reusable beer bottle program. The new initiative, backed by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), is scheduled roll out this summer.
The concept harkens back to the early 1900s, when reusing glass bottles was the norm. But that all changed around the 1930s, when brewers made the switch to single-use packaging, Food and Wine reports.
The first Oregon brewers to kick off the initiative include Widmer Brothers, Buoy Beer, Double Mountain, GoodLife, Gigantic, Wild Ride, and Rock Bottom, with more to potentially join in the future. The breweries will sell and reuse standardized 500-milliliter and 12-ounce glass bottles that can be re-used up to 40 times, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) reports.
However, along with being more durable, the reusable bottles are heavier than standard glass bottles, which raises questions about their carbon footprint—particularly since Oregon does not yet have a washing facility in place, and will be trucking the reusable bottles to Montana for cleaning.
But, according to the OBRC, this is still a step in the right direction. “Each time the bottle gets reused it saves money,” Joel Schoening, an OBRC spokesperson, told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “And the more times we use that bottle, the lower the carbon footprint is.”
Oregon residents can expect to see the reusable beer bottles on store shelves starting in July.