Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Aluminum tariffs are going to raise the price of some domestic craft beer

    If you put beer in cans your beer is bad and you should feel bad.

I don't drink anymore, but there are practical benefits to canned beer, and there are arguments that it allows for better flavor preservation.

Link.




kleinbl00  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Cans taste like cans. Don't want light to fuck up your beer? Put it in brown bottles like everyone else. And the argument that aluminum recycles better than glass is pure bullshit. You melt glass. You purify aluminum.

user-inactivated  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Cans taste like cans.

Honestly, I've never tasted a difference, and I used to drink a lot of beer, both in quantity and variety.

    And the argument that aluminum recycles better than glass is pure bullshit. You melt glass. You purify aluminum.

Once again, it's a bit mixed. Aluminum is harsher for the environment to make outright than glass, but when you look at quantity recycled in raw numbers, energy used, and amount of materials recovered, things get interesting again.

    As a result of bauxite mining's environmental toll, manufacturing a 12-ounce aluminum can is twice as energy-intensive as making a similarly sized glass bottle: 2.07 kilowatt hours of electricity for the can vs. 1.09 kilowatt hours for the bottle.

    But those figures assume that the materials used in the containers are 100 percent virgin—that is, entirely lacking in recycled content. The average beer can contains 40 percent recycled aluminum, while American beer bottles are typically composed of 20 percent to 30 percent recycled glass. But the energy savings that accumulate when you recycle a ton of aluminum are far greater than they are for glass—96 percent vs. a mere 26.5 percent. So if your brewery uses cans that contain lots of secondhand aluminum, the bottle's environmental edge narrows considerably.

    That edge vanishes if your beer is trucked across several states. Without its liquid payload, the average beer can weighs less than an ounce, while an empty bottle clocks in at close to 6 ounces. That disparity makes a real difference in terms of overall greenhouse-gas emissions, since heavier items require more fuel to transport.

Link

kleinbl00  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Honestly, I've never tasted a difference, and I used to drink a lot of beer, both in quantity and variety.

That you can't taste a difference does not negate the fact that I can.

    Once again, it's a bit mixed.

Your link, from 2009, says that if your aluminum can uses a lot of recycled material and if your bottle does not and if your bottle has been shipped a long way, the edge glass has over aluminum goes down. It doesn't disappear. It also doesn't account for buying fucking beer cans from Japan.

It also says

    Glass bottles would make more environmental sense if they were refillable, as they are in parts of Europe and Canada.

Point to the aluminum. No, not that one. That one's steel.

user-inactivated  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That you can't taste a difference does not negate the fact that I can.

I never meant to imply that it did. It'd be interesting to know how many people can tell a difference and whether or not that affects their purchasing decision, especially if they're trying to factor other things such as price, availability, perceived eco-friendliness, etc.

    Your link, from 2009, says that if your aluminum can uses a lot of recycled material and if your bottle does not and if your bottle has been shipped a long way, the edge glass has over aluminum goes down.

Indeed it does. But, your original statement was that glass is a better material to recycle than aluminum, which was what I was addressing. I'd like to point out that your counter statement also contains an "if."

    Glass bottles would make more environmental sense if they were refillable, as they are in parts of Europe and Canada.

    if they were refillable

    if <--- see? right there.

Whether or not it's from 2009 is probably a moot point, if the data is still consistent. If we have new data to work with, obviously that'd be better. Either way, it's good information to have when we're trying to look at best practices for consumer habits, marketing, and whether or not we choose to recycle or reuse. If we want to focus on recycling and long shipment times are the norm, maybe aluminum is better. If we try to focus on re bottling and aim to keep things local (which I always encourage doing local), then bottles are probably the better way to go. Or, like the article says, maybe we oughta pay more attention to kegs. If we go back to the flavor argument, I think draft was always the best choice, so that's another point in the favor of kegs.

On a personal note, it's interesting that this article is from 2009. That's about the time I started paying attention to stuff like this. The first thing that got me thinking was the often made argument that it would be more environmentally friendly to buy a used Hummer and drive it to death than buy a brand new Prius. That got me looking into all sorts of things, from whether or not it's environmentally friendly to recycle paper, whether or not the Forest Stewardship Council is an effective organization, the best way to dispose of batteries, composting, on and on and on. It seems the answer for so many of these questions tend to be "Well, it depends" and half the time the "it depends" is about consumer habits.

Thanks for having this conversation with me. You got that part of my noodle cooking again.

kleinbl00  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Your linked article assumes that the aluminum is already recycled. It doesn't say anything about the recycling process. My argument was:

    And the argument that aluminum recycles better than glass is pure bullshit.

Your counterargument was "it depends" and then you linked to an article that says, effectively, glass isn't NECESSARILY the winner. The "if" you're attributing to me isn't mine, it's the article's: my position (glass is better than aluminum) is challenged theoretically by your article, but practically let stand. It also says

    The average beer can contains 40 percent recycled aluminum, while American beer bottles are typically composed of 20 percent to 30 percent recycled glass

while newer sources call those statistics into question. So... that "if" you're trying to hang on me? The "if" I used - "if they were refillable" - is above an assortment of growlers, the hipster refillable beer container of choice around here. Meanwhile,

    If we want to focus on recycling and long shipment times are the norm, maybe aluminum is better.

...we're discussing a company that insists on buying its beer cans from Japan. By the way:

    The first thing that got me thinking was the often made argument that it would be more environmentally friendly to buy a used Hummer and drive it to death than buy a brand new Prius.

It's more environmentally friendly to walk. "should I buy a new thing or a used thing" - well duh, buy the used thing. The question isn't new Prius or used Hummer, the question is new Prius or NEW Hummer.

user-inactivated  ·  103 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Your counterargument was "it depends" and then you linked to an article that says, effectively, glass isn't NECESSARILY the winner.

If the idea I'm putting forth is "it depends" and I linked to an article that talks about the variables between aluminum and glass, then the article supports the idea I'm putting forth.

    we're discussing a company that insists on buying its beer cans from Japan.

Never in my original comment or any follow up comment did I talk about specific companies. I'm just comparing glass to aluminum and the pros and cons of each, in this instance, recycling, shipping, consuming, etc., and looking at general ideas.

I feel like you and I are using the same words, but we're having two different conversations. Why we're having two different conversations, I do not know and I don't really have any desire to analyze why. That said, we both shared ideas, hopefully we both got something out of it, so lets call it a night before this conversation devolves into fruitless quibbling.

Thank you again though, because like I said, you got the noodle cooking.