Wine bottle programme cuts CO2

Next time you sit down to enjoy a cold glass of Pinot, you can congratulate yourself that you are helping to cut CO2 emissions.

An industry programme to cut the environmental impact of importing wine into the UK has cut emissions by more than 28,000 tonnes in less than two years – equivalent to taking more than 8,500 cars off the road.

Glassrite Wine, funded by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), promotes the use of bulk importing and lightweight bottles.

The first phase of the project was launched in 2006 and ran to March 2008.

In that time, the use of recycled glass has increased by nearly 24,000 tonnes per year because more wine bottles are being made in the UK.

Glass packaging has been reduced by 11,400 tonnes a year as a result of lighter weight bottles and more than 350 different wine label bottles have made lightweight since summer 2006,

Nicola Jenkin, WRAP’s beverages category manager said the project has helped to kick-start a major change in the wine industry.

She added: “GlassRite Wine has worked with the industry to illustrate that sustainable business practices do not have to compromise commercial values or quality.

“For example, modern bulk importing methods mean wine is less susceptible to the temperature variations that could impair quality, while lighter weight bottles are often stronger than their heavier counterparts.”

WRAP is now launching a second phase of work which will involve a network of people acting as WRAP spokespeople in the main wine-producing countries to further promote the initiative.

Trials will also be carried out on wine bottles weighing less than 300g and lightweight champagne and sparkling wine bottles.

Companies working in the wine importing or retailing industry can calculate how much money and CO2 they might save by switching to bulk importing and lightweight bottles here.

Kate Martin

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