Back in the days, we used to drink coke in glass bottles. But gradually, people began preferring plastic bottles. This was primarily because everyone was concerned about hygiene.
I always felt that washing a glass bottle before reusing was enough. But that perception soon changes.
This happened when we receive a lot of queries about the procedure of sanitizing glass bottles followed by Farmery. There were also concerns regarding the need for reusing glass bottles.
So, I got in touch with Piyush, a fellow team member at Farmery. He helped me understand the entire mechanism.
Sterilization is an important step for food and beverage storage. If you are storing anything edible in any jar, you need to clean it before use. But when it comes to glass bottles, they require special cleaning. We should always clean and sterilize them using a hot water bath. The bottles may seem to be clean but sterilizing them with boiling water ensures cleanliness.
This hot-water sterilization should be done at home. But when it comes to large scale businesses, they have elaborate procedures. Particularly, Farmery follows some very basic yet efficient steps to sanitize glass bottles.
Step 1: At the consumer end
Cleaning begins at home.
Farmery expects its consumers to rinse and clean the glass bottles after using them. The reason behind it is that germs and microbes can grow inside the bottles if they are not rinsed properly.
Step 2: Role of Hub team member
A Hub team member is responsible for collecting glass bottles from consumers. Once collected, he checks whether the bottle has been rinsed or not.
Step 3: Inspection for microbial growth
All the glass bottles from all the hubs get transported to the plant. A team member is appointed there to check whether the bottles have any microbial growth inside them.
If any growth is found, then the bottles are immediately discarded. This is because it is not advised to reuse a bottle once microbes have grown. There are high chances of the procedure not being completely successful, harming the health.
In case there is no microbial growth, the bottles are scrubbed and dipped in hot water.
Step 4: Washing
At this stage, the bottles are washed. For that, Farmery uses a food-grade washing solution. 1L of food-grade cleaning solution is mixed with 500ml of water to prepare the final solution for washing the bottles.
There are many substitutes available for the cleaning solution in the market. So, the preparation of the final solution depends on the cleaning capacity and efficiency of the food-grade solution which is used.
Once the solution is prepared, all the glass bottles are dipped in it. However, they are not dipped in the solution directly. Bottles are first put in an automatic rotary brushing machine to clean any type of dirt left inside the bottle.
Then, they are dipped in clean water to wash them. Once washed, they are again placed in the automatic rotary machine. It is a circular unit and can hold 24 bottles in a cycle. Finally, after 1-2 cycles, a food-grade cleaning solution is used to clean the bottles.
This is the procedure that Farmery follows. It ensures that no unnecessary particle is present inside the bottles before reusing them.
I was then curious to know why do we reuse bottles and not recycle them. After all, its such an elaborate process!
The reason behind this is that recycling glass requires a lot more energy.
According to the Press Information Bureau, India generates 62 million tonnes of waste every year. The average annual growth rate of waste generation is 4%.
Just think about that for a second. Don’t you think that we need to start reusing as much as possible?
Reusing products is great for the environment in more ways than one. It reduces waste in landfills and saves energy on manufacturing new materials. It also helps preserve habitats for wildlife.
The reusing process doesn’t involve any loss in quality and can be repeated time and again. Not only can glass milk bottles be reused countless times, but they are also easily recyclable. Yet another reason for drinking milk in glass bottles!
Do you have more questions regarding the reuse of bottles at Farmery? Reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram!