Famous Grouse whisky toasts packaging breakthrough

Famous Grouse scotch whisky is set to be sold in lighter packaging weighing only 340g - a 14% weight reduction previously not thought possible in the production of premium spirit bottles.

The ground-breaking prototype, develped by Edrington, hails a technical first for the bottling industry and will be tested in a selection of Scottish supermarkets this autumn.

Edrington’s director of technical services, Mike Rose, said: “We set out to prove that it was possible to produce a glass bottle under 400g which still supports premium features like engraving and embossing and can cope with the speed of our production line, which runs at up to 600 bottles per minute.

“It was a stern test for the new bottle, but it ran successfully through all of the processes without any hitches or breakages. Now that we have a prototype, tests are underway to see whether it is feasible to roll the new bottle out across our products.”

He added that if the innovation was adopted by Famous Grouse, the product group would save over 2,160 tonnes of glass every year. And if this was rolled out across the whisky industry, it could save over 58,000 tonnes of glass annually.

The breakthrough was made possible thanks to support from partners including bottle manufacturers O-I Alloa, Smurfit Kappa for wraparound cases, Chesapeake Hillington for labels, and Zero Waste Scotland.

The breakthrough comes as Zero Waste Scotland announced funding of £500,000 through two new grant schemes to support the development of ideas that could result in zero waste solutions.

According to Scottish Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead, future innovation and technology developments could be worth an additional £8.4bn to Scotland’s low carbon industries by 2015 and create up to 100,000 jobs.

He said: “Innovation is vital if we are to become a zero waste society. New technologies can help us reduce our reliance on natural resources and enable us create value from the existing materials we use.”

Zero Waste Scotland’s first innovation fund is aimed at innovations in product and packaging design with the potential to be scaled up to achieve significant resource and carbon savings.

The second fund targets innovative resource recovery technologies that will allow more economic benefit to be gained from resources in Scotland, including targeting materials not currently reprocessed in Scotland like precious metals recovered from electrical equipment.

More information on the funds is available here

Maxine Perella

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