One Scottish distillery unveiled an extremely common sense sustainability measure this week. NB Distillery launched a program to refill their old bottles with new gin vodka, or rum–growler style.
The concept is real simple. You buy a bottle of NB’s gin, whisky, or rum. Then you drink the booze. When the bottle is empty, you can bring it back to the distillery’s North Berwick’s home and they’ll refill it for you at a discount.
The benefits are pretty straightforward. Less waste and cost for the consumer. Less waste and cost for the producers. A win for both parties—not to mention the planet.
“Our aim is simple and that’s to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint,” co-owner Vivienne Muir told Metro UK. “Many people keep hold of their empty NB bottles as they think they are too nice to throw away, so we felt it was quite appropriate to offer a refill service.”
NB has a strong record on sustainability and their facility is built with the environment in mind. For example, solar panels power their stills and rainwater collectors feed their condensers.
In addition, the distillers also recently switched bottle producers. Their glass in now coming from a plant in the UK instead of their previous supplier in Italy. The change was intended to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint.
In the U.S., a program of this sorts would probably be harder to implement due to three-tier-system regulations, but sensibilities are changing fast.