How Many Times Does a Standard Beer Bottle Get Reused?

According to a recent study, one Canadian drinks about 79 litres of beer in a year, on average. Regardless of whether or not you think you can beat this statistic, many beer bottles get thrown away.

As we have gradually become more environmentally conscious, we have begun to question the number of products we throw away or discard without giving them a second life. For example, the glass used to create beer bottles can get recycled several times. Despite this, more than 28 billion glass bottles get thrown away yearly.

Can you Recycle a Standard Beer Bottle? 

As mentioned above, most recycling plants and bottle depots accept beer bottles, and this is because beer bottles get made from glass, one of the world’s most commonly recycled products.

However, it’s often better to return your empty beer bottles to a bottle depot instead of disposing of them alongside the rest of your recycling. The reason for this is that the latter could mean the bottles break, which makes them harder to recycle as the small pieces and splinters are a safety hazard and could damage the machinery used at recycling plants. 

Empty brown glass bottles on a conveyor belt
A pile of empty brown glass bottles

How many times does a standard beer bottle get reused? 

The chances are that the next bottle of beer you pick up is in a previously used container. While this may seem alarming, it’s a sign that we’re all doing our bit for the environment – even when enjoying a beer! 

According to a recent study, the average beer bottle is recycled or reused 15 times in its lifespan – though this can vary.  Don’t worry – this does not mean it gets sent back to the distributor to get refilled after you’ve dropped it off at a bottle depot. It goes through a strict process of both inspection and sanitization beforehand, meaning it’s completely safe to use these recycled products. Once cleaned and examined, the bottles will be sent to a distributor, refilled, and relabeled with the appropriate branding and packaging. A new lid will also be attached – but the materials used to make these lids are widely recyclable. 

You may be surprised to hear that beer bottles have such a short lifespan after recycling, especially as it gets widely reported that glass can get recycled infinitely through a process known as closed-loop recycling. However, the 15 times rule only applies to the number of times these products get used as beer bottles – after this, they may be broken down and turned into other glass products.

As a result, the next time you drink a beer (or two or three), set the bottles aside instead of simply discarding them. When you take them to the North Hill Bottle Depot, you can receive 10¢ per bottle – which means you’ll save money while saving the planet.