Whole glass bottle recycling isn’t a new idea, if you remember back in the 1950s and 60s we could take our used Coke bottles back to the store and the Coca Cola Company would collect the used bottles to wash sterilize and reuse at their bottling plant. The same idea was true with the milk we got in glass bottles from the milk delivery person. We were supposed to rinse out the used bottles and set them out on the doorstep for the delivery person to pick up. Now in more recent years whole glass bottle recycling is done through making new glass bottles from the old ones.
Over the years we have become a disposable nation. Whole glass bottle recycling in the form of refilling became a thing of the past. Now we either put our bottles in the recycle bin or just threw them out in the trash. Reusing isn’t so easy now in the beverage business. In our homes we reuse instead of recycle, think about the glassware in your own home. You wouldn’t drink a glass of water and then toss the glass in the recycle bin. You wouldn’t pour yourself orange juice or a cup of coffee in the morning and then toss them out to be recycled into new glass would you? Think about the expense of buying new glassware every week when you went shopping! That would cost a bundle. We wash our glassware and reuse them, because that makes economic sense, but whole glass bottle recycling has taken on a different meaning to us now.
The cost of whole glass bottle recycling is less than making glass from scratch. In the past when beverage companies reused bottles, they just had to do is wash and sterilize the bottles for reuse. The cost of the product was really cheap in those days. Though the process is different now, recycling glass prevents glass from clogging up the landfills.
The problem with the old way of whole glass bottle recycling, in the form of reusing was that stores were no longer keen on collecting bottles, because they took up a large amount of space. Time management was another factor, the grocery store staff would have to hand the bottles to get them on the delivery trucks to go back to the bottling companies.
Now days with mass production the beverage companies like to be in control of everything concerning their product. For the consumer it would be an expense to burn the gasoline to return the bottles to the store. Another disadvantage to reusing bottles in this day and age is that this process would cut deeply into the bottle manufacturing market and put people out of work.