Have you ever wondered why so many of our products are packaged in glass bottles and jars? At Erewhon, we’re constantly striving to cut down on disposable containers and strengthen our commitment to sustainability.
We believe that our entire community is accountable for our environment -- including us. That’s why we launched and love our Bottle Deposit Program. This sustainable effort allows us to reuse nearly 25,000 bottles and jars every week. That’s almost one million bottles every year!
Why do we do it?
While recycling is a vital part of establishing a sustainable world, it’s important to recognize that recycling still impacts our environment. Every recycled item has to be transported to a plant, shaped into new material, and redistributed to the public, creating a carbon footprint. The only way to completely eliminate that footprint is through reuse.
It would be much easier and cheaper to use one-time use packaging across our products, but we believe in practicing what we preach. As a whole, Erewhon is a celebration of the natural world. Our products wouldn’t exist without healthy ecosystems and strong stewards of the environment. As such, it’s essential for us to protect our planet through efforts like the Bottle Deposit Program.
Instead of packaging most of our foods with disposable containers, we made the switch to glass jars and bottles that can be used over and over again. These eco-friendly receptacles are used for all of the following organic products:
- Cold-pressed juices
- Pasta sauces
- Bulk items (nuts, rice, beans, flours, dried fruit, etc.)
Through our Bottle Deposit Program, we hope to reduce single-use containers, encourage our community to be conscious of their decisions, and cut down on our carbon footprint while providing the best products to our community.
How does it work?
For every reusable jar or bottle purchased at Erewhon, the customer deposits $1.50 - $2.00, depending on the bottle size. Customers can then return their bottles to any Erewhon market to get their deposits back! Even if you decide to hold onto a jar or bottle, it can be reused in the kitchen, the garden, or anywhere around the house.
The real work happens once the bottles are returned! Once our stores collect bottles for the day, we pack them in crates, ship them to our central commissary kitchen, and wash them for reuse. Speaking of washing -- we take sanitation seriously. Each jar or bottle is hand-scrubbed, soaked in a safe sanitizer solution, and passed through our dishwashers to ensure it’s sparkling by the time it’s used for a new product. On average, we reuse each glass jar or bottle five to six times! Don’t worry -- we recycle our containers before they get too much mileage.
As you can imagine, the Bottle Deposit Program requires constant work from everyone at Erewhon. In a single week, we spend an average of 90 hours preparing bottles for reuse!
For many markets, launching a widespread reuse program would be virtually impossible. But we believe Erewhon has something special that makes it successful: a mindful community of people who respect the natural world. Our relationship with our customers provides for a sustainable system that honors the environment. Without you, this program wouldn’t work.
So, the next time you pick up a glass bottle in our store, give yourself a second of appreciation for your contribution to the environment and our collective efforts to protect it.