I noticed that I was running low on sea salt, so I picked up a bag of semi-fancy sea salt at the store. When I tried to refill my salt grinder, I realized that it was not designed for that.  It’s a deliberately non-refillable, single-use, disposable grinder.  Super-convenient, and yet, feh.

Non-refillable salt mill

I’m not really upset that the manufacturer is trying to extract more money by making me buy another whole grinder.  It’s a smart strategy, and people do pay for convenience.  If I had spent a little more time examining it before I made the purchase, I probably would have figured out that it’s non-refillable.  It’s not mentioned in any of the product descriptions I’ve found, but at least one company is openly selling similar non-refillable grinder jars.

What grinds my gears is that now I’m about to throw a chunk of plastic and glass in the trash because of this strategy.  Because it’s not refillable, I can’t easily separate the plastic and glass parts – you can’t unscrew the cap – and so it can’t be recycled.  Perhaps a hammer will help.   I have little to lose at this point. Or maybe I can try to drill a hole in the glass part, funnel in more salt, and stick a small cork in the hole. That would show them. And probably injure me.

Either way, I’m thinking that the folks at Drogheria could make this admittedly very convenient and attractive offering even more appealing without giving up the additional revenue of selling grinders with their salt and spices.

While browsing to research prices, I noticed that Amazon.com allows you to “subscribe” to this product, having it automatically delivered every month or months as you specify.  A great idea for many food items, but I’m not sure if it’s spot-on for salt.  It’s taken me many months, probably a couple of year, to finish this 3.17oz bottle, and I like my salt a lot. Anyway, my point is that if I subscribed to a salt service, I’d be very happy to be able to send back the empties for refilling, much as you can with laser printer toner.

Another possibility for making this product a little more ecologically correct might be an all-plastic design that would be recyclable or a deposit system like many plastic, glass and metal containers have.

Of course, if the bottle were simply made refillable with the plastic cap coming off the glass bottle, it would be more valuable to the consumer and easier to recycle.  And with pretty refillable salt mills available from the likes of OXO for modest sums, it looks like this is just about the last thought I’m going to give to Drogheria’s disposable salt mill.