Ardagh Group is a global supplier of recyclable, metal and glass packaging for some of the world’s leading brands and some of America’s leading craft beer brands. Ardagh operates more than 100 metal and glass production facilities in 22 countries across five continents, including Wilson, N.C.
Ardagh Group, Glass — North America recently hosted a sustainable brewing and packaging event at its Wilson glass manufacturing facility. Craft breweries from across the state of North Carolina, government agency officials from North Carolina and representatives from other supply chain businesses gathered to discuss sustainability and recycling initiatives.
Josh Brewer, Brewmaster at Mother Earth Brewing Co., joined Larry Lane, owner and 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 percent 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’s 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, such as fellow panelist Bill Clark, regional sourcing development and clean glass initiative manager for strategic materials.
“Our office works with companies across the state to expand the use of sustainable practices and recognize leaders in environmental stewardship,” said Worley. “North Carolina craft brewers are leaders in sustainable business practices. I applaud the industry and the organizers of this event for their environmental commitment and positive impact on North Carolina’s local economy.”
Chad Beane, solid waste division manager for Moore County Public Works, who’s operation was identified by Clark as a model for other programs, 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 is proud to be a member of the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild and to collaborate with local breweries,” said Clint Gawart, vice president of sales for Ardagh Group’s North American Glass division. “With more than 300 breweries and brewpubs in the state, Ardagh Group is proud to manufacture quality, sustainable glass bottles in Wilson, supporting the needs of the North Carolina craft beer community.”
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.