Over winter, we paid a visit to one of Australia’s favourite craft beer providers and O-I’s favourite customers, Stone & Wood. Based in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales where the cold and dreary winter days don’t exist, we talked to the craft beer team about their commitment to sustainability.
We chatted with James Perrin, the Sustainability Manager of Stone and Wood about a number of sustainability initiatives we’ve worked on over the past few years – view the interview here. “We live in this beautiful part of the world and we want to continue to keep it that way,” says James. “It’s increasingly important for businesses to care about this sort of stuff.”
In 2017 we worked with Stone & Wood to shift the manufacturing of the embossed Stone & Wood glass bottle from our Sydney glass manufacturing plant to our Brisbane plant, saving more than 200,000 kilometres of truck travel per year. This sustainability initiative won O-I the Green Feet award at Stone & Wood’s annual award night for partners.
O-I has four glass making factories in Australia, three of these manufacturing craft beer bottles along the east coast supporting local jobs and businesses. Not only are the bottles made locally, but they’re recycled in Australia too, unlike other packaging, meaning that glass packaging for beer has a closed loop recycling process within Australia.
Closed-loop recycling initiative
More recently, O-I and Stone & Wood have collaborated to improve glass bottle recycling, creating a closed loop recycling system from the brewery for their glass bottle packaging. Stone and Wood collect glass waste from the production process, but now rather than throwing them into the co-mingled recycling bin they’re collecting them onsite to ship directly back to O-I.
In 2015 O-I Australia opened its own recycling facility in Brisbane, with state of the art glass optical sorting. Stone and Wood are now separating their glass recycling waste and shipping this directly to Brisbane to be crushed into small particles known as cullet. This cullet is fed straight into the glass furnace in Brisbane to remake new bottles. Due to these types of initiatives and the container deposit scheme introduced in Queensland last year, the average recycled content of Stone & Wood and other beer bottles is more than 70%. As glass is infinitely recyclable the better we can manage our waste streams the higher the recycled content can be to make new bottles, reducing the amount of raw materials and energy required to manufacturer glass.
Stone & Wood are now responsible for their waste streams and are dictating where they’re going. James explains that, “businesses need to be responsible for the product they’re putting out to the world but also the impact they’re having environmentally and with their waste streams, so to be able to work with a like-minded business on reusing that waste stream as a resource directly back into our product is amazing.”