Montanya Distillers buys the lion's share of its bottles from Owens Illinois (better known as O-I). After considering and assessing so many companies from whom to purchase glass, Montanya Distillers chose Owens-Illinois. Glass is one of the major consumable items our company uses, and if we are going to be considered truly sustainable, we must assess all of our suppliers as well.
One of the major reasons for this choice is O-I's commitment to assessing, improving and minimizing its environmental impacts in the production of glass. O-I was the first beverage packaging company in the world to become certified under the Cradle to Cradle certification program, which is incredibly difficult to achieve.
The making of glass can be a very environmentally impactful industry. Manufacturer's often place controversial demands on local fresh water and emit water pollution and air pollution, which can greatly affect local communities around their production facilities. Not all countries require that these pollutants be removed from air and water before being re-released.
American glass makers are forced by the requirements of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to address their emissions. However, these rules are being liberalized in the US under the Trump administration. European makers are also highly regulated for environmental impact. The highest volumes of glass and the cheapest glass comes from countries that are not required to regulate emissions and water use in the same way manufacturers do in the US and EU.
Large container loads of cheap custom glass from China are among the worst environmental offenders on water use, carbon footprint and pollution emissions. This is especially true by the time the deliveries reach distillers in the middle of the country first by container ship, then by train, and long-haul truck. Sometimes they take a detour to be silkscreened in another facility on the way, adding a leg to their travel.
At Montanya Distillers, we care about the impacts of our product from the growing of sugar cane to the shipping of bottled rum overseas. We have addressed every step in our process from start to finish to make sure we are taking active steps to reduce our environmental impacts.