Bottles are collected, sterilised and reused to ensure our impact on the environment is as low as possible
Devonia is a leader in the environmental world of recycling. We take back our bottles wash, sterilise and reuse them. This process is completely unique and In fact we have just won the Devon Environmental Business Initiative award. (see the link)
Our records go back many years and we can say with confidence that over the last ten years we have reused 80% of our bottles. That is 4 out of 5 bottles we sell will come back and be reused. 2016 was a bumper year with the best reuse rate of 85%, this is only achievable thanks to all our environmentally committed customers.
The only part of what we supply that isn’t reused is the aluminium cap. This is a security thing. Each cap has a use once only breakable seal. Whilst on the bottle the security tabs are complete but by unscrewing the cap you break the tabs. This ensures that the bottle has the original and correct contents but also means we can never use it again. However, the cap can be recycled in the old way by taking it to a recycle centre.
We have tried to quantify how much better for the environment washing and reusing a bottle is compared to recycling it back to a bottle manufacturer. When recycled, as opposed to reused, a bottle is melted down and formed into a new one. When reused it is washed sterilised and used again. The costs are hard to pin down but we estimate it takes at least three time more energy to melt and reform a bottle as it does to wash and sterilise it. On top of that there is also the transport costs of taking the glass from Devon to manufactures in the north of England, Ireland or Europe.