Australian Craft Brewery Touts Glass’s Earth-Friendly Benefits

May 11, 2020

Two Birds Brewing and O-I Glass both care about preserving the earth through glass recycling, and they’re partnering to make good things happen.

Two Birds Brewing in Spotswood, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne, is a powerful example of the modern breed of savvy businesses mixing a desire for quality with ethics and respect for the environment. Choosing to package their craft beers in glass bottles made at O-I’s Melbourne plant is a big part of Two Birds Brewing’s commitment to being a sustainably-minded business. The brewery is even sharing the message of glass’s earth-friendly benefits with beer lovers as part of its rebranding campaign. 

Two Birds is Australia’s first female-owned craft brewing company, originally founded in 2011 by co-owners Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen. Lewis and Allen choose glass for their craft beers because of its earth-friendly attributes. They love the idea that the results of their hard work are presented to beer lovers in a pure, clean, glass bottle, and that their bottles are recycled and repurposed by a business in their same neighborhood,O-I Melbourne, which is less than one mile away.

“Fifty percent of the glass that makes our bottles comes from recycled glass and it’s all processed here in Australia,” says Lewis. “Within 30 days of it being put into recycling bins it can be back being filled with our beer.”

Eliminating Waste by Reusing Recycled Materials

The partnership between Two Birds and O-I’s demonstrates a circular economy. A circular economy eliminates waste by the continual use of recycled materials to create new products instead of relying on raw materials.

Circular systems reuse, share, repair, refurbish, remanufacture and recycle to create a “closed-loop” system. It’s a direct contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a “take, make, dispose” production model. 

Think of it as creating a system where “waste” can be reframed as “food” for the manufacturing process. Circular economies minimize the dependence on new resources and reduces waste, pollution and carbon emissions. It aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, improving the productive life cycle of a product. Glass is a perfect resource for creating a circular economy. Glass is infinitely recyclable and, when correctly recycled, can go from recycling bin back to the store shelf as a new glass container in as little as 30 days. Glass can be recycled again and again without losing quality, integrity or purity. It’s no surprise Two Birds and other earth-conscious food and beverage producers choose glass packaging.

Brewery Touts Glass’s Earth-Friendly Benefits

Two Birds Brewing and O-I Glass have formed a direct working relationship that benefits the environment and their local community. Brewery co-owners Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen realize that not every craft beer brewer has a major glass manufacturer just two streets away. They wanted to make the most of their good fortune and see what extra benefits they could bring to the supply chain as a result. 

Two Birds made the decision to become directly responsible for its glass waste stream. One example of the brewery’s earth-conscientious habits is returning bottles they can’t use in production directly back to O-I Glass; they don’t place the bottles into commingled recycling. This reduces the traveling distance for the product and supports the brewery’s local economy.

Recycled glass, called “cullet,” is vital to the glass-making process. When the amount of recycled glass going into the process increases, the manufacturing process uses less energy. Every 10% of recycled glass used to make new glass reduces carbon emissions by 5% and generates energy savings of approximately 3%. 

Two Birds wants beer drinkers to know they value glass bottles. They created a social media video that parallels the glass making and beer brewing process, highlighting each product’s four natural ingredients – glass is made of sand, limestone, soda ash and recycled glass, while beer’s four primary ingredients are water, yeast, hops and malt. The brewery’s tagline “Buy Local, Buy Recycled” reinforces the values of local and sustainable.  

Partnerships like the one between Two Birds Brewing and O-I Glass show that when two companies who share similar values work together, good things happen.