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SHoggard

Member
Nov 28, 2011
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Singapore
Here's a serious question:-
Where do all the Absolut vodka bottles we see at roadside stalls - filled with petrol/diesel/kerosine - come from?

I'm not asking about the contents - their source should be pretty obvious... but the bottles??

Clearly there is a thriving glass bottle recycling industry in Bali, focused around the F&B sector, collecting empties & refilling them for sale at village level, that stands to reason... an effective eco-solution, re-use being the 1st of the 3Rs.

Given the import duty on spirits, I'd have thought just about any damn 1L bottle would do... BUT they always seem to be Absolut vodka bottles - not Johny Walker, Bacardi, Tequila etc, which all accommodate a measured 1L of liquid.

I hardly think the high shelf presence of Absolut is down to retailer display & brand appeal !
So is there a secret community of binge-drinking Swedes somewhere on the island... or what?

Anyone got ideas?
 

BKT

Member
Apr 2, 2010
862
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Auckland/Singaraja
Given the import duty on spirits, I'd have thought just about any damn 1L bottle would do... BUT they always seem to be Absolut vodka bottles - not Johny Walker, Bacardi, Tequila etc, which all accommodate a measured 1L of liquid.

Not sure where they come from but the Absolut vodka bottles they use are only 750ml. Maybe be they use them because everyone thinks they're 1 litre :icon_e_biggrin:
 

mat

Member
Dec 18, 2008
750
0
16
Singaraja
Just came back from a drive about. It's true, hundreds of Absolut Vodka Bottles. [I didn't see any other type] Very strange. Someone must be drinking it.
As BKT says it may well be a scam and the thick glass that makes them look like a litre.
 

SHoggard

Member
Nov 28, 2011
738
2
16
Singapore
thousands

I'd say thousands - if you go from Kuta to Singaraja it's an Absolut roadside advertisement all the way.

I'm not convinced about the scam - with so many bottles on the market, I'd think the locals filling-up from them would know their vol.

The conundrum remains
 

Rangi

Active Member
May 23, 2011
1,057
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Legian
I personally never use them because for one there are plenty of petrol stations and It always felt like u where getting alot less but i didnt click that the bottles where only 750 ml. I know when i put 10,000 rp in my bike at a pertol station i know im going to get 2.22L and i assumed i was gettin around 2L or just under from those bottles for 10,000. But i always thought to myself that the gage wasnt going up nearly as much as i thought it would using the bottles because the .22L couldnt make that much of a difference so i just thought bugger it i just guna use petrol stations from now on. But now i know it is actually a difference of around .72L . You learn something new everyday they rekon lol
 

BKT

Member
Apr 2, 2010
862
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Auckland/Singaraja
Check the bottles when you're filling up next, I'm pretty sure I remember seeing 750ml embossed on them. I noticed this a few months back when I was filling up, curiosity got the better of me when I noticed the bottles were full and my tank half empty
 

SHoggard

Member
Nov 28, 2011
738
2
16
Singapore
No closer

Still no closer to discovering the source.

But the 750ml point is an indication that they were likely intended for the general retail-store trade.
Last time I was in a bar all the bottles looked like 1L (though it might have been a function of 'distance from bottle X quantity of alcohol consumed = over-estimate of capacity (eg: everything looks better when drunk!)
Besides a decent bar would be ordering the larger bottles.

Also, they're not duty free: Again not a lot of bottles in airports are lower than the standard duty-free limit.

But WHY Absolut??? That's the real question (not the size)
 

balidavo

Member
Sep 16, 2011
209
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bukit bali
rangi , your missing the point of the bottles . Sometimes the fuel stations are few and far between depending on where you are , plus you never fill up on the bottles , as youll only buy the minimal amount needed before getting to the fuel station where you will fill up at a cheaper price .

Plus sometimes the locals and tourists will run around the village etc untill the tank is almost empty and then buy a bottle instead of making the journey back into town . In this case you dont mind paying a little bit extra for that conveinience :)
 

Rangi

Active Member
May 23, 2011
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Legian
your right when i say i never use them i mean i never use them unless its absolutly nessasary like at night when the petrol stations are shut. .
 
Last edited:

sherm

Member
Nov 17, 2011
312
2
18
your right when i say i never use them i mean i never use them unless its absolutly nessasary like at night when the petrol stations are shut. .
Did you make a pun? I think so...

Of the pictures I took they look to be 1L bottles to me. Should be easy enough to check for someone on the ground there...
 

Ramona_

New Member
Jan 20, 2012
23
0
1
Canggu Asri
Maybe a fabric error or something, and the fabric had to get rid of them...
Some-Absolut-Wodka-person once went to Bali, saw the bottles, and realized it would be the perfect opportunity to get rid of them.

That's about as far as my creative mind stretches :p
 

SHoggard

Member
Nov 28, 2011
738
2
16
Singapore
Hi Ramona,
Yes, I did think of something like that.... but the bottles (and vodka) are made in Sweden - Bali is a long way from there, and it is expensive to ship empty bottles that distance.
It would be cheaper to grind the glass down and make new bottles in Europe where they have very efficient collection & recycling systems.
A nice attempt... but I can't see them explaining the import of Absolut bottles at customs "You want me to pay WHAT duty? Honestly, they're empty!"
 

spicyayam

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2009
3,549
302
83
Well they do sell Absolut in the supermarkerts so I would imagine between those sales, people bringing in duty free and hotels that sell, there would be enough bottles for the petrol sellers.
 

SHoggard

Member
Nov 28, 2011
738
2
16
Singapore
Spicy.... we're talking thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of bottles.... a decade of hard-drinking Swedes?

As I said... there seems to ONLY be Absolut bottles... if the duty-free & hotel trades were really the main source, then why aren't other empty bottles being used - gin, whisky etc?

Beer, obviously not because there breweries pay to get their bottles back.
 

matf

Member
Dec 14, 2011
87
0
6
kerobokan
hahaha omg i have thought about this many times aswel,

the duty free vodkas are 1ltr but the shelf vodkas are 750, so it means they all have to be duty free, i have no idea where they come from,

but the reason they use them are the caps on them are very good to reuse time and time again,

also the glass is nice and thick,

but i still have no idea,

its an absolute mystery
 
Dec 16, 2011
30
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6
Canggu Visitor
Official response I received from the company itself ........

Thanks for your email and your interest in ABSOLUT VODKA.

Your question is not silly at all, but quite interesting. Last year we received a photo from a consumer who had also seen our bottles at a petrol station. I can assure you that ABSOLUT does not sell any empty bottles, it remains a mystery to us how they got a hold of so many, and why ABSOLUT? Your guess is as good as ours, but this is not a "PR trick" from us, drinking and driving is not a connection we would invest in. If you in the future find out anything more about this, please share with us, we are as intrigued as you!
Best regards
Hedvig


Consumer contacts
The Absolut Company


I advised Helvig I would pass on any information and/or interesting theories. :eagerness:

Steve
 

Little_O

New Member
Jun 21, 2017
2
1
1
I know this is an old thread, but i have been investigating glass bottles for our business and it seems that the vodka bottles are made of a stronger, thicker glass to cope with the high alcohol levels....not sure if this is why they use them in particular for the petrol....
 
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