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All podcast music: “Café connection” by morgantj / CC BY 3.0, ©2009 – Licensed under Creative Commons 
Attribution (3.0) 

Feb 15, 2022

Caren McNamara founded Conscious Container in 2017 to bring the refillable glass bottle marketplace to the wine industry (pre-WWII, we re-used most packaging. Other countries kept doing it, but in the US that stopped). The goal: reduce single use packaging waste and turn glass bottles into multi-use vessels by setting up an infrastructure for collection, cleaning, inspection, and re-use.

Caren was a project and change management manager for a major tech company but she left that behind when she saw a hole in the marketplace for refillable and reusable glass, and the opportunity to make a big impact on the beverage industry.


In the show we talk about we talk about how we wound up throwing away assets like glass, rather than re-using them, and how things like lightweight packages (reduce) and recycling are less effective than the third “r” – reuse - which is usually the most efficient of the three.


Caren discusses the opportunities for Conscious Container to do good, what it will take for her operation to become full-scale, and offers ideas of things we can do to help Conscious Container’s mission, like asking at tasting rooms about refillable bottle programs, requesting that wine clubs look into using refillable bottles, and keeping up to date on new developments which would allow us to participate in the re-use economy.


Shout out to April Nalle of Nalle Winery for being an innovator,  using this program and for introducing me to Caren and all the cool stuff she's doing! 


Here are some links to things Caren mentions in the show:



  • ReLoop 'Reusables vs Single-Use Packaging.  A combination of 32 Life Cycle Assessments on the topic with a clear "win" for refillable glass bottles, Caren used these numbers in the podcast





Go to Conscious Container to learn more.


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