Ardagh Group, Glass – North America, a division of Ardagh Group, recently hosted a Sustainable Brewing & Packaging event at its Wilson, N.C. glass manufacturing facility. Craft breweries from North Carolina, government agency officials and representatives from other supply chain businesses gathered to discuss sustainability and recycling initiatives.

Josh Brewer, Brewmaster at Mother Earth Brewing joined Larry Lane, owner/Brewer of Double Barley Brewing and Kate Binder, Sustainability Specialist from Bell’s Brewery in a panel discussion about sustainability practices at their breweries. From more efficient equipment and installations, to composting programs in taprooms, the breweries shared ideas with each other and the other brewers in the audience that can yield big savings to a brewery’s bottom line.

“With a name like Mother Earth, you can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk,” said Brewer. “We have a 6-kilowatt solar array that we use to offset our electricity consumption, and it generates enough power to offset 100% of our taproom electricity 24/7, as well as some other areas of our facility.”  

Mike Green, business development specialist for the State of North Carolina, Division of Environmental Assistance, spoke about brewery recycling programs and the need for regional consolidation partnerships. This way, breweries can consolidate their brewery materials, such as grain bags, hops bags, cardboard and stretch wrap, to save money while recycling items in one central location.   

Representing the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Wendy Worley, Recycling and Materials Management, section chief, spoke about the state of North Carolina being home to more than 16,000 private-sector recycling jobs, with more than 650 businesses dedicated to recycling.

Chad Beane, Solid Waste Division manager, Moore County Public Works discussed Moore County’s success in creating a local aggregation site that provides an opportunity for residents, bars and restaurants to continue to recycle their glass containers, which are then processed by Strategic Materials and shipped to companies like the Ardagh Group manufacturing facility in Wilson to be made into new glass bottles. 

Ardagh Group’s Wilson facility specializes in the manufacture of 100 percent and infinitely recyclable glass containers for the beer and beverage markets, making nearly 30 glass bottles every second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.