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WorldStar Award for Vetropack’s lightweight returnable glass bottle

The World Packaging Organisation has presented Vetropack‘s lightweight, returnable Echovai bottles with a WorldStar Award in the “Packaging Materials & Components” category.

“We have been researching our Echovai process for almost ten years. I am proud and very grateful to the team at our Innovation Centre for the excellent result,” said Johann Reiter, CEO of Vetropack. Last year, the lightweight glass bottles had already won in two categories at the Swiss Packaging Awards and thus qualified for participation in the WorldStar Awards.

In the pilot project with the Austrian Mohrenbrauerei, several million of the bottles were produced and tested. The result: the 0.33-liter returnables cut weight by around 30 per cent compared to standard returnable bottles. “This had a significant impact on logistics. Combined with the use of solar power, we were able to reduce CO2 emissions per bottle by a full 75 per cent,” Andreas Linder, Head of Marketing at Mohrenbrauerei, reports. The lightweight glass bottles are also considerably more resistant to abrasion than their conventional counterparts. This combination convinced the WPO judges due to its economic and ecological advantages.

Echovai bottles as standard solution for Austria
Since first using them in the pilot project, the Mohrenbrauerei has expanded the range of beers available in Echovai returnable bottles. Vetropack has further developed the lightweight bottles and made them accessible to a wider user group: In Austria, Echovai returnable bottles were introduced as an environmentally friendly standard solution for the local brewing industry

Available since March 2024: “Gösser Biostoff Lager” in the new Austrian standard returnable bottles from Vetropack – © Vetropack Holding AG / Schafranek Foto & Film

Returnable standard bottles, which do not have to be transported back to specific bottlers, reduce CO2 emissions. The light weight of the Echovai bottles makes the new Austrian system particularly effective. Together with Brau Union Österreich and other stakeholders, Vetropack has also coordinated the bottle, crate, and pallet design, taking into account the associated logistics. This results in a well-running, frictionless overall system. The first user of the system is the Brau Union, which now fills “Gösser Biostoff Lager” in Vetropack’s lightweight returnable standard bottles.

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