Flat wine bottles could cut costs and emissions

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wine may soon be distributed in flat plastic bottles, in a move that could reduce carbon emissions and costs in the industry’s supply chain.

The bottles are a novel alternative to the glass model that has remained largely unchanged since the 19th century.

The global wine industry is estimated to use more than 35bn glass bottles a year (including 1.8bn in the UK alone), and transportation – typically in cases of six or 12 – involves large volumes of unused airspace.

Garçon Wines, launched in 2017, claimed its bottle was the first that could be posted through a letterbox. Until now it has been used only for novelty gifts, but the company said it was in talks with wine manufacturers and suppliers about producing the bottles on a much larger scale.

Made from recycled PET, the bottle has a plastic cap, making recycling easier. It takes up 40% less space and is 87% lighter than conventional bottles.

The company’s carton for 10 flat bottles, being launched at a packaging conference in Birmingham on Wednesday, would hold only four glass bottles of the same 75cl volume.

Santiago Navarro, the chief executive and co-founder of Garçon Wines, said normal wine cases resulted in “unnecessarily costly logistics, excessive packaging, wasted resources and a grotesque carbon footprint. This is because the bottles being used are not fit for purpose in a 21st-century world of e-commerce, complex supply chains and, most importantly, climate change.”

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