Refresh Glass: Upcycling at its Finest

Original Post Can be found

Happy Earth Day Foodies! I wanted to write a blog that was food based, topical and not preachy. There is so much negativity floating around the culinary world in regards to sustainability, GMOs, etc. I decided that I wanted to write about something positive and recently at Devoured Phoenix, Mister and I received some amazing glasses in our goodie bags that happened to fit that bill. It was perfect! The tumblers we received were from 10 milliona local company called Refresh Glass.

Refresh Glass, is based out of Phoenix, Az. They collect empty wine bottles from local restaurants and hotels who would have otherwise thrown them away. They then transform them into beautiful glassware. In 2015, Refresh has collected and repurposed over 600,000 bottles. Their mission is to grow to collect and repurpose over 10 million bottles per year.

Owner Ray DelMuro grew up in Pasadena, California, and received his BS and MS in Industrial Technology at Cal Poly SLO. After school he worked as a manufacturing engineer for an aerospace company for 5 years before quitting and taking a year long trip around the world to try and figure out his passion profession. A year after his trip ended he launched Refresh Glass.

RayIn 2009, Ray was selected by the Arizona Republic as one of the Top 35 Male Entrepreneurs under the Age of 35 in the state of Arizona. In 2010 Refresh Glass was selected by the AZRC as the Small Business of the Year for Recycling in the state.

Ray loves art and engineering and wanted to create a product that blended his favorite parts of both. To him, engineering has to do with function and utility; logic, quantifiable tests. This was his job as a manufacturing engineer, to ensure fit, form, and function. He was also responsible for establishing efficient processes by managing the variables of cost, quality, and time & still does this now. For Ray, the kicker is the art. Since he was a kid I he has always loved drawing and then that turned into a love for fabricating. The concept of taking a mechanical design, or art concept, on paper and then making it come to life is still fascinating to him. He believes that art has to do with designing for an emotional response; something that his glassware has had a strong track record of achieving. With Refresh Glass he wanted to refresh vasecreate solutions where others benefit both financially and emotionally as a result of their pursuits.

One of Ray’s best friends told him in late 2008, when he first started making the glasses out of his garage, that people want this project to succeed because they want to be able to say that they played some part in Refresh Glass’ success. Ray wants everyone who eats at a restaurant that collects for Refresh Glass, works there, sells, distributes, or has a set and tells his story to feel like they played an important part in helping our project grow, because he believes they have. He wants people to enjoy the elegance of the function and the feeling that the glasses represent.

Refresh Glass has glasses being used at Wolfgang Puck, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton locations in addition to many other restaurants and hotels around the country. Refresh products are also sold at many retailers in the states as well.

Empty bottles are rescued with the help of local collection partners which include: Postino locations, Beckett’s Table, House of Tricks, the Parlor, Sheraton downtown, Pizzeria Bianco, FireSky Resort, Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch, La Bocca, El Chorro, and the Marriott Buttes. Products are available locally at Practical Art and select Whole Foods Locations

Well foodies, that about does it for this blog! I hope you enjoyed learning about one of my favorite local companies. What we choose to buy matters and it’s great to support a company who not only shares your beliefs but creates a beautiful and functional product too! ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­More information about Refresh Glass is available at Until next time!

Enjoy What You Eat!


Refresh Your Events

Last month I attended an event in California. Our group enjoyed a great conference as well as many after-hour social events. Although the meeting was planned as environmentally conscious as possible, I noticed that the empty wine bottles of our events were thrown out with the trash. Hundreds, if not thousands of wine bottles must be disposed of monthly at the resort in that manner.

A week or two later I crossed paths at a Conscious Capitalism workshop with Refresh Glass, a Phoenix-based company that collects thousands of empty wine bottles from the community a week, and repurposes those into functional products for everyday use. They recognized the need to repurpose these empties and created partnerships with many local restaurants and hotels to collect their empty wine bottles in the Phoenix area.

As a planner I recognized a special synergy between an event and the repurposing of the event’s empty wine bottles. You can have bottles from their collections crafted into glasses with company or event logos, and gift them to speakers, attendees and VIPs post event. On a more intimate scale you can have special wine bottles repurposed into glasses for a newly married couple.

Refresh Glass also offers glasses with chalkboard labels that can be used to indicate place settings at events. Bottles are also repurposed as vases and candleholders. Their products get animated responses because of people’s love for aesthetic and functional items that have a story, in addition to their love for wine. Each piece they create is truly unique and has its own personality.

All of the bottles transformed by Refresh Glass are currently collected by businesses and individuals in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Ray DelMuro, Refresh Glass Founder and Owner established a goal for his company to rescue 10 million bottles, keep them out of landfills and repurpose them.

Items to gift at events can be ordered online starting at $5. Custom projects are priced accordingly and usually take 7 to 10 days from order to delivery.

Wine Bottles Get a Second Life

There are no official numbers, but apparently there are a lot of wine drinkers in Phoenix.

So, you can imagine how that could lead to quite a few empty bottles … maybe millions.

That’s why Tempe-based Refresh Glass is on a 10-million bottle rescue mission and gaining national attention at the same time.
They’re turning trash into something to be treasured.

“I started out of my garage, collecting bottles in my 4-Runner and I just wanted to make a living,” said Ray Del Muro, Refresh Glass founder. “It’s kind of grown organically on its own just because of people’s love for wine and because of the concept that it’s possible to take something that used to be thrown away and make something so valuable.”

At Refresh Glass, workers collect thousands of empty wine bottles each week from restaurants and businesses across the Valley. Then they repurpose those empty bottles into items such as drinking glasses, planters, carafes and candleholders.

“I’ve always loved art and my background is in engineering,” Del Muro said. “So, I wanted to combine the two worlds together in a way that helps the community at the same time.”

The company also celebrates the uniqueness of each bottle and what each one represents.

“The variety is still amazing to me,” Del Muro said. “Hundreds of different bottle shapes and combine that with all the hues and then the fun part for us is the history. Every bottle has its own story.”

Across the country, people are taking notice of what’s happening at Refresh Glass and placing orders.

“There’s so much potential,” Del Muro said. “We’re collecting a small fraction of all the bottles that are generated in the Valley. And to be able to make them into something functional that people can enjoy over and over again is a really awesome feeling.” Refresh Glass has collection sites for empty wine bottles at Whole Foods stores in Tempe and Chandler.

Test gallery Blog page

This is a test blog page with a gallery

Top of the Rock Restaurant – Tempe, Arizona
Spago – Las Vegas, Nevada
Husk – Charleston, South Carolina
Barbareño – Santa Barbara, California
Francis Ford Coppola Winery – Geyserville, California
B & O American Brasserie – Baltimore, Maryland
J&G Steakhouse – Scottsdale, Arizona
100% collected from the community, 0% bought from bottle manufacturers!
Simple elegance, unique feel
Sustainability program dedication
Melted rims for feel & durability, not sharp & sanded
Fine Dining ambiance
Casual Dining stand out
Fantastic for signature cocktails
Part of a great dining experience
Make a lasting impression