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Beyond the curb: the journey of a glass bottle

Blog post

Here’s the journey a glass beer bottle takes when you recycle it.

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When you put your recycling out for curbside pickup, you’re connecting valuable materials to markets where they can be remade into new products. You’re also helping reduce Portland’s waste and saving energy and resources.

We get lots of questions about where recycling goes after it’s picked up. Let’s look at a glass bottle and its lifecycle. There are two ways you can recycle glass — in your yellow recycling bin, or if it has a deposit, you can take it to some grocery stores or a BottleDrop Center to get a 10-cent deposit back.

Recycling is good, but reuse is best!

An illustrated diagram showing the path a bottle takes

Oregon’s Bottle Bill provides for a 10-cent return value on most beverage containers and it’s been tremendously successful at reducing waste, litter, and energy and resource use. Recently, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative launched a refillable glass bottle program with seven statewide breweries. Bottles can be refilled 25 times before the glass needs to be melted down and recycled.

Reusing materials is even more efficient than recycling.

Let’s raise a glass to Oregon brewers and refillable bottles!

Cheers to reuse!

Growlers are another way to reuse – and they have expanded from just beer to kombucha and wine too. Most grocery stores offer growler fills, along with brew pubs and liquor stores.