Monday, May 6, 2013

Recycled Wine Bottles!

Recycled Wine Bottles!

When you pick up your favorite bottle of wine at your grocery or wine store, do you ever give a thought about the glass wine bottle? Do you ever wonder where the glass wine bottle was made or who made it? When you throw your empty wine bottle into your recycling bin, do you ever wonder what happens to it?

Well, with this Blog, we’re going to answer these questions and, perhaps, a few more.

Americans love their wine. Let’s begin by throwing out a few interesting wine facts. First, each year, we adult Americans consume over “350 Million” cases of wine. That’s about “4.2 Billion” bottles! Florida, by the way, is the “Third” wine consuming State in the nation! Did you know that Florida grows grapes and makes world-class wines? Yep, that’s a fact! Florida can boast of about ‘25’ Certified Florida Farm Wineries! Our wineries stretch from north Florida, through central Florida and into the Keys.

So, what about those empty wine bottles? What happens to the bottle when we’ve poured and enjoyed the last glass? Well, per the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency), approximately 70% of our empty wine bottles are going to our landfills. That leaves us with less than 30% going into our recycling bins! Most often, if you throw your empty wine bottle into your recycling bin, the glass is broken up and added to the asphalt in our roads. Only a very tiny fraction of our 4 billion plus empty wine bottles are being recycled by our wineries!

Unfortunately, this sad picture gets even worse. Instead of stepping up to the plate and repurposing their empty wine bottles back into wine bottles, most wineries are continuing to buy new wine bottles from factories in China, Mexico and Italy. This is an unsustainable trend. Our children and grandchildren will be compelled to deal with this environmental disaster unless we take corrective steps on our watch.

So what can WE do?? Well, we can begin by insisting that our wineries take back and reuse our empty wine bottles. As we know, glass can be cleaned and sanitized and reused…Forever! Vote with your dollars! Support the wineries that recycle/reuse their wine bottles. In Manatee County, BHV (Bunker Hill Vineyard & Winery) uses only 100% recycled wine bottles! Last year, we recycled over “12,000” empty wine bottles! So, you see, it can be done. All it takes is the will to do the right thing!

Until we meet again….”Salute and Happy Days”!