Cowhorn Winery in Applegate Valley, Oregon has teamed up with Wine Bottle Renew to establish a powerful new bioregional program called ‘The RINSE Project.’ The project cuts per-bottle cost and reduces wineries’ carbon footprints by recycling used wine bottles and preparing them for industry reuse.
Some 300-million cases of wine are sold in the United States each year and the wine bottles from about 210-million end up in landfills. As the first Southern Oregon winery to ship used bottles through the RINSE Project, Cowhorn Winery aims to help change that and cut its carbon footprint in the bargain.
In addition to cleaning, packing, and shipping wine bottles for winery reuse, the RINSE Project culls bottles that have ‘bloom’ – a clouding of the glass that can cause wine to spoil. The Green Glass Company then upcycles them into heirloom glassware.
“Biodynamic winemaking is about the purity of both our wine and the way we produce it,” said Barabara Steele, co-owner of Cowhorn Wines and organizer of The RINSE Project. “Winemaking at Cowhorn is a balance of high-tech and high-touch. Wine Bottle Renew uses technology to extend the life of wine bottles by a factor or two or more times. Getting bottles back that are cleaner and greener than new glass is an added value for Cowhorn customers who support sustainable businesses in spades and increasingly won’t settle for less.”
According to Wine Bottle Renew:
- It is estimated that 60% of a wine’s carbon footprint is in the production of the wine bottle.
- Using a Renew bottle reduces that production carbon footprint up to 95%.
- Reuse of wine bottles not only cuts the carbon footprint, but also reduces the amount of glass that ends up in our landfills.
- The EPA estimates that 70% of all wine bottles are not recycled.
- Glass in our landfills never breaks down and will be there 5000 years from now.
- With 10% of landfills being glass, it is our duty to change our throwaway culture and look at reusing and recycling bottles to reduce waste and help our environment.
- The process of washing a wine bottle for reuse generates less than 5% of the carbon created in the virgin production of that same bottle.