Eco-Conscious Container Options for Eco-Conscious Craft Brewers

published May 30, 2023
4 min read

Beverage container litter has been the subject of environmental concerns for years. It’s why producers and researchers worldwide have been into testing and discoveries of environment-friendly beer container alternatives.

The same goes for craft beer containers. Many craft brewers today prioritize eco-consciousness, which gave way to several environment-friendly container options in the market.

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Some Eco-Conscious Craft Beer Container Options

The Aluminum Can

Craft beer aluminum can containers are cylindrical containers made of lightweight aluminum. They’re specifically designed to store and transport craft beer. They have a sealed top with a pull-tab or stay-on tab for easy opening. Brewers increasingly recognize Aluminum cans as a more eco-conscious craft beer container option.

At the outset, aluminum cans are highly recyclable. They can be recycled indefinitely without any loss in quality. These recycled cans can be transformed into new cans repeatedly. It also saves energy and reduces the need for virgin aluminum production. It’s a significant step to taking care of the environment.

They’re lightweight and stackable. They can be stacked efficiently, which saves space during transportation. Their lighter weight reduces fuel consumption during shipping, resulting in lower carbon emissions and a lesser environmental footprint.

Aluminum cans provide excellent protection against light and oxygen, the components that can degrade beer quality. It ensures that the beer remains fresh for longer, reducing the potential for spoilage and waste.

Also, aluminum cans are shatterproof, eliminating the risk of breakage while handling traveling and distribution. This reduces product loss and minimizes safety hazards and the need for additional packaging materials.

Moreover, aluminum cans offer convenience for consumers with their easy-to-open tabs and portability for outdoor activities, such as camping or hiking, where glass may not be allowed or practical.

By choosing aluminum cans, craft brewers can showcase their commitment to sustainability. It attracts eco-conscious consumers and contributes to a circular economy by promoting the recycling and reuse of materials. Producers may also consider having a can quality program to ensure that eco-consciousness in all their craft beer canning processes will always be observed.

It’s important to note, however, that the production of aluminum cans does require significant energy inputs and extraction of bauxite, the primary source of aluminum. Implementing recycling programs and encouraging consumers to properly recycle cans can help mitigate these environmental concerns. It can also maximize the eco-conscious benefits of aluminum can containers.

The Glass Container

Craft beer glass bottle containers are traditional vessels designed to store and transport craft beer. You can get them in various shapes and sizes, typically with crown caps or resealable tops for easy opening and closing. These glass bottles are considered eco-conscious craft beer container options for several reasons.

Firstly, these glass bottles are highly recyclable. They can be melted down and used to create new glass bottles without losing quality. It makes them a sustainable choice. By adequately recycling beer glass bottle containers, consumers can reduce the need for new raw materials and save energy than producing new containers if consumers properly recycle glass bottles.

Secondly, they’re durable and reusable. Craft breweries can implement a bottle return program where consumers bring empty bottles for cleaning, sanitizing, and refilling. This scheme significantly reduces waste and the consumption of resources required for manufacturing new bottles. Reusing glass bottles in craft beer also helps minimize the environmental impact of packaging production and disposal.

Additionally, glass is inert and non-permeable. It provides excellent protection against oxygen and light exposure. This feature ensures the beer’s quality. The flavor will remain intact for extended periods, reducing the likelihood of spoilage and product waste.

Furthermore, glass bottles have a classic and premium image, often associated with craft beer quality. It usually enhances eco-conscious craft breweries’ branding and marketing efforts, attracting consumers who appreciate sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

However, it’s important to note that glass bottles are heavier and more fragile than other container options. It may increase transportation costs and breakage risks. Nonetheless, when appropriately managed, glass bottles can be a viable and environment-conscious choice for craft brewers committed to sustainability.

The Bag-In-Box

Craft beer bag-in-box packaging is a container system that consists of a recyclable cardboard box with a plastic bladder or bag inside. The beer is filled into the bag, placed in the box, and sealed for consumer distribution.

The box typically features a tap or dispenser for easy pouring. Bag-in-box packaging can offer eco-conscious benefits for craft beer containers. It provides convenience for consumers. It allows easy dispensing and portion control, making it suitable for taprooms, events, or home use.

This craft beer bag-in-box packaging reduces packaging waste. The cardboard box is lightweight and uses minimal material compared to individual bottles or cans. This results in less packaging waste and reduces the carbon footprint associated with its production and disposal.

The bag-in-box packaging is space-efficient during transportation. The boxes can be stacked more efficiently than individual bottles or cans. It helps to optimize shipping and reduces the number of shipments required. It’ll result in lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Bag-in-box containers are also designed for optimal product preservation. The bag’s flexible nature eliminates oxygen exposure, preventing oxidation and maintaining the beer’s freshness for longer periods. It reduces the likelihood of product spoilage and waste.

Furthermore, bag-in-box packaging is recyclable. The cardboard box can be easily recycled. Some bag-in-box systems use recyclable or compostable plastic bladders. By adopting craft beer bag-in-box packaging, breweries can minimize packaging waste, reduce transportation impacts, and provide customers with a convenient and eco-conscious container option.

The Stainless Steel Kegs

Craft beer stainless steel kegs are reusable and durable containers. They’re specifically designed to store and transport beer. These kegs are typically made of high-quality stainless steel, which offers excellent corrosion resistance.

It can maintain the beer’s integrity and ensure it stays fresh longer. Stainless steel kegs can be an eco-conscious craft beer container option for brewers and consumers. They’re reusable, which can significantly reduce the need for single-use packaging.

Unlike disposable bottles or cans, stainless steel kegs can be collected, cleaned, sanitized, and refilled multiple times. This process eliminates the generation of packaging waste and reduces the overall environmental impact associated with production, disposal, and recycling.

Stainless steel kegs are highly durable. They can withstand rough handling and last many years with proper care. This longevity reduces the need for frequent replacement, resulting in resource conservation and lower energy consumption.

Furthermore, stainless steel is a recyclable material. At the end of its lifespan, stainless steel kegs can be recycled. They may be used to produce new stainless steel products, reducing the demand for raw materials and minimizing waste.

Moreover, stainless steel kegs provide excellent protection for beer quality. Stain steel’s airtight and light-resistant properties ensure the beer remains fresh and free from exposure to oxygen and harmful light rays. This helps preserve the flavor and integrity of the beer, reducing the likelihood of product waste and spoilage.

Craft beer breweries can use stainless steel kegs to embrace a closed-loop system, reduce packaging waste, and conserve resources. They can also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-conscious beer industry.

The PET Plastic Bottle

Craft beer PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic containers are lightweight, shatterproof bottles made from a widely recyclable plastic type. They are designed to store and transport craft beer while offering certain eco-conscious benefits.

PET plastic containers can be an eco-conscious craft beer container option due to their lightweight nature. The reduced weight helps minimize carbon emissions associated with transportation, as less fuel is required to move the containers. Additionally, their lightweight design can contribute to more efficient logistics and distribution, reducing energy consumption.

Furthermore, PET plastic containers are recyclable, which enables them to be transformed into new containers or other PET products. Encouraging consumers to recycle PET bottles is crucial to maximizing their eco-conscious impact. Craft brewers can contribute to the circular economy and reduce the demand for new plastic production by promoting recycling initiatives and ensuring the availability of recycling facilities.

PET plastic containers are also shatterproof, reducing the risk of breakage during handling and transportation. This enhances product preservation, reduces waste, and enhances the overall consumer experience.

However, it’s important to note that plastic, including PET, poses environmental challenges. Addressing plastic waste through proper recycling and management practices is essential. Craft breweries can also explore options for using recycled PET or incorporating bio-based plastics to further improve the sustainability of PET containers.

Craft brewers can make more eco-conscious choices that balance convenience and sustainability by considering PET plastic containers’ recyclability and lightweight design. It’ll also actively promote responsible recycling practices to minimize environmental hazards.

Reduce Carbon Footprint

The Bottom Line

Craft breweries today have several eco-friendly packaging options to choose from when it comes to their beer.

Glass bottles are recyclable and reusable, making them a classic and premium choice. Aluminum cans are highly recyclable, lightweight for efficient transportation, and provide excellent product protection. Craft beer boxes are space-efficient, customizable, and reduce waste. Stainless steel kegs are durable, reusable, and can preserve beer quality.

Regardless of the chosen option, eco-conscious craft brewers need to prioritize recycling programs, educate proper disposal, and promote responsible consumer behavior. This will help reduce the environmental impact of beer container production.

Ultimately, choosing an eco-friendly container option depends on the brewery’s needs, consumer preferences, and sustainability goals. Craft brewers can demonstrate their commitment to eco-consciousness by prioritizing environmentally friendly packaging. It’ll also attract environmentally conscious consumers and reduce the environmental impact of the beer industry as a whole.