Lightweight bottle saves glass

The first 70cl drinks bottle weighing in at less than 300g has appeared on supermarket shelves in the UK, paving the way for a significant reduction in wasted glass.

The bottle, believed to be the lightest spirits bottle in the world, has been pioneered by the Co-op and will be used for the supermarket's own-brand whiskey.

Much attention has been paid to the efforts made by large retailers in reducing the waste from their plastic bags, either by using more recycled or biodegradable material in their manufacturing or cutting their weight and therefore the amount of materials required per bag.

However, many retailers have also been trying to reduce packaging waste elsewhere in their operations and the Co-ops lightweight whiskey bottle is a shining example of that.

The 298g bottle is designed to reduce manufacturing costs, cut carbon emissions and minimise the amount of glass being used in packaging.

The Co-op will trial the bottle in their best-selling 70cl whisky, but plans to expand its use into other 70cl own-brand spirits.

The spirits industry is one of the UK's biggest consumers of glass packaging, using more than half a million tonnes each year.

Funding from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) helped the development of the bottle which is made by Rockware.

WRAP estimates that 150,000 tonnes of glass could be saved each year, if the food and drink industry reduced the average container weight by just 10%.

"The new bottle is a real landmark in packaging design," said WRAP project manager, Nicola Jenkin. "A sub-300 gram spirits bottle has set a new 'best in class' standard for the sector, so the achievement is very welcome news.

"The new design proves that it is possible for packaging to be resource-efficient, without compromising performance or consumer appeal. We hope other retailers and brand owners will now follow suit."

Manufacturers, retailers or brand owners interested in finding out more about lightweight glass containers can contact WRAP's retail innovation team on 01295 819686 or email

Sam Bond


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