RGB and the environment!
BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces (The Freeman) - April 4, 2019 - 12:00am

No, I am not talking about some missile although the proportions perhaps of its impact may eventually have this effect on the environment when widespread. RGB stands for RETURNABLE GLASS BOTTLES.

I have been so disturbed lately by the rampancy of posts advertising bottles made into cups and glasses that carry brands of soda, beer and other similar beverages that use RGBs.    Some even advertise glass cutters that can be used to convert the bottles into souvenir items. I see no problem with this IF the bottle is not required to be returned.

There is a difference between a ONE PASS bottle and a RETURNABLE one. The single use bottles are those used in wines and similar beverages that do not require the return of the bottles once they are used. It normally does not have the brand of the beverage adhered to it although some may have paper labels and are usually made of much thinner glass material although some are really designed for full use recyclability. 

For the RGB, the seller is required to return the bottles upon re-purchase from the manufacturer. Likewise, when a person goes to a retailer to buy the said product, he needs to bring a bottle of the same brand to be able to buy the full goods.

In this case the bottles are not part of the cost of the content. When you buy soft drinks for instance, you are asked to exchange the bottle you have for a full one and even if you make a deposit for the bottle when you do not have an empty one with you, the deposit you make does not totally cover the cost of the empty. It is a deposit so you will withdraw your money and return the bottle. That is supposed to be the principle. That is why some sari-sari store owners who ask for deposits ask for a higher cash value. They are actually trying to cover for the cost of the bottles if it does not return to them. However this still does not cover the actual expense for a new bottle. 

The cost to produce one bottle is no match for the cash deposits required by the store.  For the suggested deposit is just a percentage of the actual bottle cost. The manufacturer on the other hand does not pass on the cost of the bottle to the consumers otherwise the item will increase in total value.

When the bottle is an RGB, it can be used for the same purpose several times. This brings down the manufacturing cost and likewise reduces the cost on environment. Breaking bottles that are still recyclable is a waste of money. Even if one cuts off the neck to produce a nice looking glass bearing a revered brand. It only gives economic benefit to a home enterprise but if sought after can lead to a suit from the actual owner of the bottles.

Some manufacturers do not actually mind their chipped bottles being used as mugs or cups with their brand on the item as this also is good for marketing and promotion of the brand and no matter what, the bottles somehow get back to the manufacturer if still in good condition.  However, it is the environment that eventually suffers when the bottles are cut off and just thrown anywhere.

On the other hand, excessive use of branded RGBs that are mutilated for the purpose of commerce -  that is intentionally breaking a good bottle and selling them as glass, cups or mugs is punishable by law. Note that in such bottles it is printed on the label that the bottle is the property of the company and sometimes the property ownership is embossed on the bottle itself.  Property ownership is different from the glass maker’s logo. Property ownership is really stated as such: “this is a property of…” and since it is marked as owned, it cannot and should not be passed on to others for a different use. Besides under the Intellectual Property Rights the use of the trademark of a company by another without permission can lead to liabilities.

When the bottle is damaged, in order to keep the recycling cycle moving, the cutlets or broken bottles are sold to bottle manufacturers or junk consolidators for proper recycling and disposal. Leaving of broken bottles, like glass heads, necks, lips and bodies may not only be a waste of resource but would also be unsafe.

Returning the RGB to the seller will bring the bottles back to the manufacturer and then back to the consumer with no wastage, no additional cost, and no legal impediments.

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