August 29, 2017

Bringing back a truckload of beer crates

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:43 pm

Truck of beer

Students from the local beer joint in Dalfsen, Overijssel drove an entire truck full of empty plastic beer crates to the Jumbo supermarket to cash them in, about 1,000 in total. Beer crates and any bottles in them are worth ‘packaging deposit money’ (‘statiegeld’ in Dutch).

For three years, the beer joint saved up the crates and after deciding it was time to cash them in, they had to find a supermarket that was willing to do so. Other supermarkets turned them down, even Heineken turned them down, but the manager of the local Jumbo was ready to take the job on. It took four men to unload 869 beer crates with empties and 115 without, which instead of putting into the small bottle return machine were placed directly into the containers to go back to the breweries. The whole thing took two hours.

And how much deposit money did the students get back? A cool 3.620.14 euro, which may pay for a Jacuzzi and more beer, of course.

(Link and photo:

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July 20, 2013

How Heineken branched out into bricks for a short while

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 11:36 pm

In the 1960 Dutch beer brewer Heineken came up with the idea of using rectangular, stackable beer bottles thinking that they could be re-used as building materials.

Cabinet Magazine writes how Freddy Heineken got the idea when visiting Curaçao in 1960:

[Heineken] noted with dismay the acres of trash underfoot—a good part of it produced by his own company. Heineken Breweries had an efficient bottle-return system in Holland, where the average bottle was used 30 times before being discarded. But without modern distribution, bottles in Curaçao were used once and thrown out. There was no lack of resulting trash: what the island did lack, however, was affordable housing. Heineken had a flash of brilliance: make beer bottles that you can build houses out of.

An initial bottle design by architect John Habraken—a long slender bottle to be stacked vertically—was vetoed by Heineken’s marketing department for being too ‘effeminate’. The second design was the squat bottle you see in the photo. Of this 100,000 bottles were produced and even a prototype shed near Freddy Heineken’s villa in Noordwijk.

(Photo by, some rights reserved)

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