Vermont Breweries Champion Can Carrier Reuse Initiative

, Vermont Breweries Champion Can Carrier Reuse Initiative

Millions of plastic can carriers end up in the hands of Vermont’s craft beer drinkers each year, with most being tossed into single-stream recycling bins because manufacturers market them as “100% recyclable.”

What craft beverage producers, recycling companies, and some consumers have come to realize is that while such marketing claims may be true in theory they don’t always hold up in reality.

But now three earth-friendly organizations, Eco-Friendly Beer, Reusable Solutions and Casella Waste Solutions have joined forces with Vermont breweries and cideries on a new pilot program to make for a better world…

Known as the Vermont Plastic Can Carrier Reuse & Recycle Initiative, its goal is to reduce the need for new carriers by offering taproom take-back programs that allow the ones already in circulation to be used over and over again.

According to the press release the concept isn’t new.

, Vermont Breweries Champion Can Carrier Reuse Initiative

Businesses like Burlington’s Vermont’s Queen City Brewery, Black Flannel Brewing & Distilling in Essex, and even renowned Hill Farmstead Brewery already accept carriers back from customers for sanitization and reuse.

Not only is reusing them more environmentally conscious than buying new carriers, it’s also more economical. Reusing these plastic carriers can potentially decrease packaging costs for some breweries by hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually.

The idea behind the Vermont Plastic Can Carrier Reuse & Recycle Initiative is to scale up existing reuse efforts by raising awareness and creating a more formalized network of participants including beer and cider producers, consumers, and various environmental groups.

Participating breweries currently include Foam Brewers,  Switchback Brewing and Zero Gravity in Burlington; Halyard Brewing and Weird Window Brewing in South Burlington; Four Quarters Brewing and The Beverage Warehouse in Winooski; Goodwater Brewery in Williston; Black Flannel Brewing & Distilling in Essex; Stone Corral Brewery in Richmond; Green Empire Brewing in Colchester; Stowe Cider in Stowe; Shacksbury Cider in Vergennes.

And Casella Waste Systems has provided these businesses custom collection bins for the pilot program. Casella will also help participants ensure that unusable carriers (those that are damaged or in excess) get properly recycled through a special arrangement that side steps the troublesome single-stream sorting process required at a material recovery facility.

American Craft Beer applauds this amazing effort, its creators and everybody involved.

(All image credits: Eco-Friendly Beer Drinker)

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