Return Containers for Reuse

Return Containers for Reuse

Since 2003, Hummingbird Wholesale has managed a successful container reuse program. Co-owner Charlie Tilt wanted to use an alternative system to recycling that would save more energy and be gentler on the environment.

In 2012, a Master Recycler named Cory Fulton volunteered to analyze the energy savings of our container reuse program for glass jars. We found that when our customers participate in our container reuse program, there is significant energy savings compared to disposing of the jars (by recycling or landfill) or using new jars for the subsequent product. Not only did our container reuse program confirm that reuse is a better choice than recycling by far, but we also found that energy savings increases sharply the more times a jar is reused.

Container Reuse Program
Resource Sheet for Container Return/Reuse Program

One hundred percent of Hummingbird Wholesale's brand liquids are packed in reusable glass and plastic containers. The containers that get returned are washed and fully sanitized before we reuse them again. A lot of these containers have been reused many times.

We encourage the return of our reusable containers by charging a refundable deposit on Hummingbird branded containers. Hummingbird has reused over 125,000 lbs of plastic containers and over 93,000 lbs of glass containers since the program started. That adds up to 76% Reuse! Let’s work together to increase our container reuse to 100% to save even more of the earth's resources and keep these containers out of the waste stream!

This is our Container Return Program flyer (two-sided) that provides details about which containers we accept and how best to return them. We have this sheet available as a PDF download or we can send you a printed copy. Email us at

Want to see how it works? Check out the video here! 

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