Glass or can? Can or glass?

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Today’s post comes from Mere!! Read on and cheers, Tumblr readers!

Ever since beer has gone into both cans and bottles, there has been debate over the most environmentally conscious way to sit down and have a cold one. Thanks to San Diego’s thriving microbrewery scene the answer is clear—neither is the best option! The best option for the environment, and arguably for your taste buds, is to drink a pint of local beer at a microbrewery. Beer bought in cans or bottles can rack up to 24,000 miles of transportation for ingredients and the final product, compared to a locally brewed beer’s average 600 miles. As if this isn’t a great enough change on its own, microbreweries offer the budget and environmentally friendly option of taking home your favorite beer in a growler. Growlers come in a variety of sizes and are sold in most microbreweries for around $7 to $10, not including the fill cost. They’re great for beer lovers and brewers, but there is a huge problem with current California legislation regarding these beer-to-go containers, that proposed legislation would address. Currently, a microbrewery, or any seller, can only legally refill a growler that is correctly labeled with the information of that seller. A seller can’t use any container that the client has provided unless it has this correct information. In other words, a microbrewery can only refill its own growler. This means that beer fanatics will have to buy growler after growler to take home beer from their favorite or newly discovered microbrewery.

I spoke with a server from a local microbrewery who came here from Oregon, and she made it clear that she doesn’t agree with the current legislation. She really prefer to sell the beer and could not care less where the growler is from. Making customers buy specific growlers from microbreweries isn’t helping microbreweries; it is in fact hurting their “to-go” business. Even worse, producing growler after growler works against the environmental friendliness that the growler business otherwise promotes. While we at 1:1 promote that specific ratio, a growler is more like a 1:6 ratio! For every growler that’s refilled, that’s SIX beer bottles that don’t need to be produced and disposed of. If 1,000 people chose to only drink beer straight from the tap, or use a growler, 225,000 cans or bottles could be saved from entering a landfill or recycling plant.

New legislation has been proposed by Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro which would allow microbreweries and other beer sellers to re-label growlers. If this legislation passes, beer lovers will no longer have to buy a brewery-specific growler which would help microbreweries and be an optimal environmental option. Glass takes over 1,000,000 years to fully degrade in a landfill, so let’s use less of it! It really comes down to this: microbreweries are better for the environment and the local economy- growler usage makes them even better! California needs to pass the legislation about refilling growlers to support microbreweries and allow them to have their fullest positive impact on the environment.