Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Jars and bottles... A plea for sense!

I wish to share with you the frustration felt by those who re-use bottles and jars for wine, jam, chutney, etc. And point out, at the same time, that the way we make and use glass materials is stupid.

Jars and bottles really need to do 2 things - they have to store materials for which they're constructed safely and reliably, and they have to provide a space to identify the contents and brand. And they should be reusable and recyclable.

What I don't want, either for myself or across the whole of the marketplace, is bottles and jars that can't be reused or which are so variable as to be nearly useless. I want jars which basically have the same lid sizes as each other, and bottles that are more or less re-useable. What I don't want is what I actually have - a crate each of bottles and jars of varying sizes all waiting for re-use, with a multitude of different lids for each.

Now its bad enough for those of us who make things to re-bottle, but think about the supply chain. We buy a jar of something, we send the jar back for recycling, its melted down to make another jar... Why? I mean, what's the advantage to us in spending all the energy melting glass to make more nearly identical items? 

I'd like to suggest the following. Lets have, say, 5 standard jars, and 5 standard bottles in the EU. So suppliers have got plenty of designs to choose from such that when combined with a label its very clear what the product is. And after use, rather than smashing them up and melting them down lets put an old-school deposit on them, so you can take them back to claim a deposit (or save them to use). Wouldn't that be a more sensible solution?

Oi, folk in the Green party or any other politicians wanting to do something simple and sensible... Are you listening to the pleas of a home-jam and wine maker?