You’ve probably heard the popular waste management phrase: “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. The order of these words represents the hierarchy of the best option, and this certainly applies to glass bottles. While a glass bottle is quite easy to recycle, reuse is better because recycling requires energy, water, and other resources and can even release pollutants.
When it comes to wine bottles, a New York-based startup Good Goods hopes to keep containers out of landfills and recycling through its wine bottle return and reuse program. The company launched its program in New York in 2020. Two years earlier, it had launched a brand of take-out food in reusable containers, which gave them the framework to create the model they now use.
Today, Good Goods takes a multi-pronged approach to bottle reuse. First, they work with about 60 producers and brands of wine across the United States and enroll them in the bottle reuse program. Then, standardized bottles (marked with the Good Goods label along the bottom edge of the bottle) are supplied to wineries. These bottles are filled with wine and then shipped to participating retailers.
Customers then purchase bottles of wine from participating retailers. When the wine is finished, empty wine bottles can then be returned to the same store where they were originally purchased or to another participating retailer. Good Goods operates a customer loyalty program to encourage bottle returns, and customers receive $ 1 off their next purchase.
Good Goods collects the used bottles and brings them to its facilities, then a third-party company disinfects the bottles. The bottles are redistributed to the cellars, and the process begins again.
According to Good Goods, customers have returned 20,000 bottles of wine to date. More than 50 retailers located in New York and New Jersey have joined the program, and the company currently has a waiting list of 100 retailers wishing to register. By the end of 2022, Good Goods’ goal is to expand to New York, California, Texas, and Washington, and include 600 retailers.