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- Consumers want more reusable glass offers
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The family company Egger Getränke, based in Unterradlberg-St. Pölten, fills 400 million drinks per year, making it a major player in the market. Since February - thanks to an investment of 25 million euros in a corresponding system - non-alcoholic products such as lemonades and fruit juices can also be offered in reusable glass bottles. Just in time for World Environment Day on Friday, June 5th, Egger Getränke is now getting involved in the discussion about single-use PET and the binding EU targets for the collection rate: "Collecting is good - but avoiding everything is even better comes onto the market in reusable glass containers, does not need to be recycled as PET.” Frank van der Heijden, Managing Director for Sales and Marketing at Egger Getränke explains: “Reusable glass is clearly and undisputedly a relevant alternative as a form of packaging. If more drinks are offered in reusable glass bottles, then one automatically reduces the output of PET containers and thus the costs for collection, sorting and recycling." That is - so van der Heijden - not only suitable for the World Environment Day "refreshingly good for the environment, but also an obligation to future generations”. "It is also important to start with the cause and not just minimize the effects."
There is an offer and sensitivity for reusable glass
If the relevant and, above all, area-wide range of reusable glass containers has been lacking on the market up to now, Egger Getränke is now providing a remedy: In addition to its own premium brands, glass is also used as a container for the private labels and contract fillings filled by Egger Getränke. “As a family company, we think in terms of generations. Our investment in a glass filling system enables a resource-saving and sustainable offer in the domestic beverage landscape,”says van der Heijden. In doing so, he definitely holds consumers accountable: "What consumers are increasingly asking for is offered - what is not disappears from the supermarket shelves."
“The wheel doesn't have to be reinvented”: Reusable as a relevant ecological alternative
“The glass bottle is not completely new. We connect exactly where the beverage industry was at the end of the 1990s, when the reusable share of beverages was over 80 percent.” And further: “People in Austria know reusable container shapes and the corresponding handling, and they want them there are also corresponding offers,” says van der Heijden. The in-house products Radlberger LIMÖ, Granny's apple juice and weed in reusable glass bottles are well received by consumers.
According to Greenpeace, reusable is the most ecological form of packaging
Frank van der Heijden is convinced that glass will be well received as a new form of packaging: "Reusable glass is in the spirit of the times." The environmental organization Greenpeace welcomes the commitment and also confirms that regional reusable systems are the most ecological form of packaging. Greenpeace Managing Director Alexander Egit: “With reusable packaging we are shrinking the mountains of rubbish, preventing waste in nature and ending the throw-away mentality. According to current surveys, Austrians also want a broader range of returnable bottles. ”Glass is a very good - because it is inert - packaging material for beverages: it does not absorb anything, it does not release anything and, thanks to its smooth surface, can be carried with you comparatively easily significantly less detergent can be cleaned. In addition, glass bottles can be refilled up to 50 times and in the course of the recycling process there is no loss of material or quality - as is the case with other types of packaging. “Glass can be made from glass any number of times, that is unique,” says Frank van der Heijden.
End consumers and the beverage industry have a choice
With the decision to invest in a glass filling system and break new ground in the beverage industry, Egger Getränke is a pioneer in the industry. “We are facing new challenges that we can only meet with a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial courage,” Frank van der Heijden is convinced. Glass is not intended to be a substitute, but rather the ideal addition to the other packaging options. “The customers - the end consumers as well as the beverage industry and the retail trade for whom we fill - have full freedom of choice with us. But from an ecological point of view it is clear that everyone has to contribute. Carrying glass bottles is a clear or significant contribution of every individual to respect the environment,” says the Egger Getränke Managing Director.