Circular beer from beverage to bottle

Dutch regional water authorities, in collaboration with several circular designers and studios, present beer that was made completely circularly, from beverage to bottle.

With the beer, the water authorities aim to show that the complete beer production process can be made from (sewage) water treatment and drinking water production. At the same time, the action is an appeal to the government to make haste to lift the waste status of the raw materials.

Called “Ontboezeming” (‘Outpouring’), one hundred bottles of beer have been produced as part of the campaign. The beer itself was brewed with cleaned sewage water. The glass of the beer bottle is made with calcite (lime), which is released when the drinking water is softened.

The paper label of the bottle is now made of paper in which roadside grass has been processed (by Recell), but that is also possible from cellulose from reclaimed toilet paper. The printing ink is made from vivianite, an iron phosphate from sewage sludge, and was designed by Agne Kucerenkaite (Studio Agne). The label is attached to the bottle with bioplastic glue, made from a polymer produced by bacteria from wastewater treatment.

The bottles of beer are transported in a 3D printed beer crate made by Omlab. The main ingredients of the crate are the raw materials cellulose and Kaumera (a biobased raw material that is extracted from sludge granules that are formed during a certain water purification process and made by Kaumera Nereda Gum) from sewage water and calcite from drinking water. To reinforce the beer crate, a biocomposite was used, in which cellulose and calcite were also processed.

These reclaimed raw materials are still being viewed as waste material, which means that regulations and permits make it more difficult to process and apply these materials.

The project was an initiative of AquaMinerals, a sales organization of raw materials and energy from the water sector, in collaboration with Energie- & Grondstoffenfabriek, which researches transforms waste water into a resource and source for energy.

Photo: AquaMinerals