A few months ago Adnams brewery in Suffolk issued a new bottle design for their beers.
The new bottle has a revised label and states:
"Less glass in a bottle is more environmentally friendly. Adnams 500ml beer bottle is the lightest in the UK"
That's very welcome news as the old bottles were based on an old 1920s Adnams design, which the new brown glass container also follows, but the old glass bottles were extremely heavy and used a lot of glass.
The new bottles are both good looking and, as mentioned, use a lot less glass, so that is a bonus for weight savings and recycling (think slightly lighter crates of ale to ship, less raw materials)
However, the question still remains: why do breweries not go back to the old idea of returnable bottles? Surely returning glass bottles (for a penny or 5) is better than collecting, smashing and re-making them?