Our company recently had the opportunity to tour the Bottle-Making facility of Rocky Mountain Bottling Company in Golden, Colorado . . . and IT WAS A BLAST!!!!
Seeing what happens behind the scenes of such a large company is something that very few people get to see nowadays, and we feel so fortunate to have gotten the chance.
Rocky Mountain Bottling Company creates bottles on a massive scale for MillerCoors and loads of other breweries. An amazing process to actually see in person and if you ever get the opportunity to take a tour, don't hesitate.
Their enormous bottle making facility takes raw materials from the earth, mainly silica sand and lime, add in our our favorite product: recycled glass cullet, melt it all together, and at lightning speed create 3 million new glass bottles . . . per day.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN BOTTLE COMPANY CREATES 3 MILLION NEW GLASS BOTTLES PER DAY
What's cool about the process is that the amount of recycled glass that their system needs to create new bottles is growing everyday, single, day.
During our tour, our friend and operations manager, Mark Diggins, says recycled glass is the best material for creating new bottles because it reduces the energy used to melt the ingredients together by incredible amounts.
By using recycled glass, the melting point for new bottles is roughly half that of using just raw materials. Factor in a furnace temperature of about 2700 degrees, and that equals a savings of about 1350 degrees fahrenheit!!!
USING RECYCLED GLASS TO MAKE NEW BOTTLES REDUCES ENERGY USE BY HALF!
Now, if you've never seen a bottle being made from scratch before, it's quite a blur. Once the ingredients are heated to a liquid temperature, they are funneled out the bottom of an enormous vat, while simultaneously being cut into bottle-sized globs.
These sizzling red-hot globs fly down chutes towards molds, which form the basic shape of the bottle, then get flipped into another mold, finishing with a second touch of shaping.
Now mind you, this all happens in a matter of seconds, and we could only help but stand there staring with our jaws dropped. The speed and efficiency was down-right mesmerizing.
Once the molding was finished, the bottles then went through a process of strengthening, and then onto pallets, to which delicious beer was certainly ready to make it's acquaintance.
And to put the cherry on top of an already cool tour, we discovered that it only takes a few days before recycled glass gets back on the shelves of stores nearby. That is much much faster than aluminum cans could ever claim. Pretty cool.
IT ONLY TAKES DAYS BEFORE RECYCLED BOTTLES MAKE IT BACK TO STORE SHELVES
In the end, we couldn't help but think that individual recycling does indeed make a difference in the world. All of these new bottles were going somewhere, and to get them there was no small feat.
Imagine if all of these bottles were headed back into the same facility that Rocky Mountain Bottle Company was operating. In fact, operations manager Mark Diggins made no small point to us, that their company would prefer to have it that way, saving energy costs every step of the way.
Glass really is the best packaging. We hope that with your help, we can keep pushing for better glass recycling in local communities.
That way, we can keep, the energy savings up for our friends at Rocky Mountain Bottling Company.