Rick Hindley, Alupro
We’ve just had a really busy few days launching the Every Can Counts workplace recycling programme at the Facilities Show at the NEC. An amazing number of people came to the show, thanks in no small part I think to the clever organisational tactic of running separate but related exhibitions on all the topics a facilities or buildings manager could wish for, such as health and safety, security and fire – as well as facilities management. May not sound thrilling, but all the more reason perhaps to group the exhibitions together …
Three members of our team were kept busy for pretty much the whole three days, with enquiries from all sectors – manufacture, distribution and retail, as well as public services and government – so we’re hopeful of a high conversion rate from enquiry to programme implementation.
We provide branded collection boxes for the workplace, plus plenty of resources to make sure that everyone recycles every drinks can they use – massive energy and resource savings to reduce carbon footprint. The number of commercial waste companies which also provide recycling collection services (essential to efficient workplace recycling) is growing all the time, and it’s well worth ensuring your business asks this question when renewing contracts.
We’ve also just taken delivery of the first branded Can-crushers – brilliant collection containers with a pull-down handle to crush the cans, which are ideal for high-profile public spaces, and a bit of fun to use.
I was at the pub the other day, and as our chilled white wine arrived in a bottle, I got to thinking about some articles that I read the other day (here and here). Does wine need to come in a bottle or could it come in a can? And what does this mean for the environment?
I discussed my thoughts at the pub – all the environmental benefits associated with soft drinks in a can, also work with wine. Drinking wine from a can means that, as long as you recycle it afterwards, it can be used to make a new can of wine. In fact, it can be recycled and be back on the shelf to purchase within 60 days. This saves the energy (up to 95%) and resources compared to making the can from scratch.
But thinking more about this – just how much wastage of wine is there with dropped and broken glass? With a can, it simply doesnt break when someone accidentally drops it. Thinking about it, a can is also oxygen tight – protecting the wine inside perfectly, and without the issues associated with the unsustainable use of real cork. I have looked at some research which has also shown that drinks in cans chill more quickly – perfect for a lovely chilled white or rose wine – and this means less energy used in refrigeration too. A chilled wine can may remain so for hours on your dinner party table, until you drink it that is….
That got me thinking about the summer (if it ever arrives) and long lazy days of barbecues and picnics, it would certainly be easy to carry cans of wine around. And then it would be easy to just stick the can in a recycle bin if there is one around, or if we are really good crush it and take it home to recycle in the kerbside collection.
It is interesting to think that drinking wine in a can is a uniquely sustainable way to drink it! Maybe it is time to stop being snobbish about wine, and think about the environmental impacts of our drinks packaging as well? I really hope I get to see wine in a can as an option the next time I get taken out to dinner…