Second Life Of A Bottle

Second Life Of A Bottle

Starting from 2012 in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, second bottling of alcoholic drinks and infant’s food into glass bottles won’t be allowed anymore. While public organizations of the three countries are waiting for an explanation, let’s visit a bottle pick-up center and see what’s going on there today.


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It’s always very lively there. The majority of those who bring in recycled resouces are retirees.

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Here they accept glass, plastic, aluminium cans, waste paper, etc. The amount of recycled sourses they receive daily is equivalent to 4600-4800 rubles (150 dollars).

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This bottle pick-up center accepts glass bottles from beer, vodka and other strong drinks.

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In the center they sort them out to give them to different enterprises.

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‘Baltika’ is one of the customers of this pick-up center. Its headquarters and one of its factories are located in St. Petersburg.

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The company’s managers are very concerned about the returnable package ban.

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The company has always been buying returnable bottles (since 2003 returnable package has been the only package they use!). They work with 4500 pick-up centers from all over the country.

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These are advantages of using returnable bottles: Economic gain (it’s 20% cheaper to use an old bottle than to buy a new one) and transport charges reduction (each factory purchases bottles from local pick-up centers);

it’s ecological and low risky (each bottle has passed the test of time before entering one of their factories).

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They say that the main reason of imposing the ban is the danger a used bottle may represent to the customer’s health.

Second Life Of A Bottle

This is a German Krones washing machine, one of the most reliable and expensive bottle washing machines at the market.

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Here the bottle undergoes several stages: heating, alkaline baths, washing guns,  rinsing, and cooling.

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On the way to the washing machine.

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They do not throw labels away, but dry them out and recycle.

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The washing machine’s production capacity is 60 thousand bottles per hour.

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Each bottle stays inside the machine for 30-40 minutes and then comes out clean and shining. After that, bottles go to the ‘machine-inspector’ which checks the cleanness of each bottle.

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Bottles which have been rejected by the inspection as defective, go back to the washing machine.

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In the foreground you see bottles going into the washing machine, and in the background you see bottles filled with beer which have been already washed! Just that simple and smart!

Location: St. Petersburg

via ecomarusya

9 thoughts on “Second Life Of A Bottle”

  1. I used to work bottle sorting and washing at Britvic in Leeds. They have one of these machines only much bigger. They are awesome to watch.

  2. I do not see what the big deal is with using old bottles so long as they are be properly cleaned what is the big deal.

    You could also melt the glass down and use it again to make new bottles I suppose that is what they will need to start doing if they ban the other method.

  3. I wonder what the total energy consumption is to collect, deliver, sort out defects, clean and sterilize a reusable bottle vs. collecting the bottles, transporting the crushed glass in bulk and simply molding it into new bottles?

    • One of our state wide beer manufacturers and distributors did that study. With gas at the 80’s low it was cheaper to collect and wash the bottle. With the 2000’s it was cheaper to crush and melt the bottle. Something like a 20% savings in transport and energy costs.


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