Crag Spring Water takes back the bottles to wash, sanitise and reuse them.
The only part of what we supply that isn’t reused is the aluminium cap. This is a security thing. Each cap has a 'use once only' breakable seal. Whilst on the bottle the security tabs are complete, but by unscrewing the cap you break the tabs. This ensures that the bottle has the original and correct contents but also means we can never use it again. However, the cap can be recycled by taking it to a recycle centre or by returning to us.
We have tried to quantify how much better for the environment washing and reusing a bottle is compared to recycling it back to a bottle manufacturer. When recycled, as opposed to reused, a bottle is melted down and formed into a new one. When reused, it is washed, sanitised and used again. The costs are hard to pin down but we estimate it takes at least three times more energy to melt and reform a bottle as it does to wash and sanitise it.