Although glass can be recycled indefinitely, it is not valued properly in every part of the world. In Europe yes: over 90% of that used lives a second life through recycling. In the USA (which are deficient also for plastic) the percentage of recycled glass is just 33%. The rest? In landfills, because Americans don't know how to separate waste, and make collection impossible: maddening.
Carlsberg, a Danish brewing company, wants to cut the bull's head by experimenting with a new bottle that contains no glass at all. Is called "Fiber bottle”, è stata presentata questa settimana e sarà distribuita in tutta l’Europa occidentale (anche se noi con il vetro siamo a posto). Secondo l’azienda, la bottiglia è dotata di un guscio esterno in fibra di legno proveniente da fonti sostenibili.
Fiber bottle, wood fiber bottles
Nice, wooden bottles. And how are they coated inside? Here things get a little more complicated. I read:
“The wood fiber bottle is coated with a plant-based PEF polymer developed by avantium, azienda chimica partner di Carlsberg. È fatto interamente con materie prime naturali, è compatibile con i metodi di riciclaggio della plastica e può decomporsi nell’ambiente se gettato al di fuori dei sistemi di riciclaggio nazionali. Oltre ai vantaggi di essere un packaging sostenibile, il PEF funge da barriera tra la birra e il guscio in fibra di legno, proteggendo iI gusto della birra meglio della plastica PET”.
What are you saying? Does it convince you? There is no hint as to how this inner coating degrades: does it magically disappear or is it reduced to microplastics? I don't know if you know what I mean.
Wood fibers, bronze face
In any case, Carlsberg points out that the production of the wood fiber bottles involves lower carbon emissions. The ratio would even be one to five: with the CO2 needed to produce a glass bottle, five would be produced in wood fiber.
Good. But the glass bottle is virtually eternal. And glass is currently the best performing packaging ever when harvested. Don't we first educate American children from an early age to recycle (also) glass? Better, rather than chasing their laziness by producing wood fiber bottles that must still be collected and recycled (with other pitfalls).
Everything is broth, if you add "green" to your communication. Be careful, however, because the greenwashing is around the corner: in the meantime I have a beer. Made of glass.