Oct. 11, 2021

Reusable Glass Bottles & Bottle Bills with Caren McNamara | Ep 67

Reusable Glass Bottles & Bottle Bills with Caren McNamara | Ep 67

Years ago, the return and reuse of glass bottles was common practice, but when convenience began to dominate the messaging around packaging, this went out the window. Now, 75% of glass bottles end up in landfills. Through her company, Conscious Containers, Caren McNamara is on a mission to change this. Caren Conscious Containers is a benefit corporation selling refillable glass bottles and establishing infrastructure to collect, sanitize and resell them throughout the country. They have also come up with an innovative solution which allows them to track the lifecycle of their bottles so that they can build up a database which the packaging industry is lacking. In this episode, Caren explains the processes involved in ensuring that a bottle is fit for reuse, legislation that is coming into effect around the end of life of packaging waste, how beverage brands have been responding to Conscious Container’s business model, and the exciting expansion plans she has for the future!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What you can expect to learn from today’s episode.
  • Reasons that drove Caren to found Conscious Container.
  • Main challenges that Conscious Container is faced with.
  • Benefits of using a refillable glass bottle as opposed to other packing substrates.
  • Mandated legislation around single use packaging.
  • The lack of glass bottles currently available in the supply chain.
  • Factors that contributed to the reduction in reuse of glass.
  • Percentage of glass that ends up in landfills.
  • Differences between Conscious Container bottles and other glass bottles.
  • How and why Conscious Container is going to track the lifecycle of their bottles.
  • Responses from beverage brands to the idea of a returnable bottle.
  • Alterations that companies may have to make when they begin using Conscious Container glass bottles.
  • Challenges to getting wash-off labels.
  • The process that a Conscious Container bottle goes through after it has been used.
  • How Caren intends to scale Conscious Container.
  • Caren’s past work experience, and how this has benefited her in her current role.
  • Extended producer responsibility programs.
  • The end of life for reusable bottles.
  • Examples of the companies that Conscious Container is working with.
  • Changes Caren expects to see take place over the next few years.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Conscious Container

Conscious Container Email Address

Caren McNamara on LinkedIn


Zero Waste Europe

Report on Reusable vs Single Use Packaging

Closed Loop Partners

International Direct Packaging

People of Packaging Podcast by Adam Peek

Sustainable Packaging Podcast by Cory Connors

Connect with Evelio Mattos on LinkedIn

and download your own Sustainable Packaging Guide here