WRAP calls on wine trade to use lighter bottles

WRAP is encouraging delegates at the London International Wine & Spirits Fair (LIWSF) to consider the environmental impact of their best-selling reds and whites. The UK waste and recycling organisatio…

WRAP is encouraging delegates at the London International Wine & Spirits Fair (LIWSF) to consider the environmental impact of their best-selling reds and whites. The UK waste and recycling organisation, which is exhibiting at the international event, is leading a programme called GlassRite Wine. The project was launched in 2006 to encourage the use of lightweight wine bottles sold through UK off-trade and to encourage more wine importers, brand owners and retailers to bulk import wine and then bottle it in lighter glass bottles manufactured in the UK. By encouraging more widespread use of lightweight bottles, WRAP aims to reduce the amount of UK glass waste by 20,000 tonnes per year by 2008, equivalent to taking over 8,500 cars off the road each year. Delegates at the LIWSF, which will take place 22-24 May 2007 at London“s ExCeL, will be able to learn more about the progress of the project at the briefing session “Bottling wine in a changing climate”, to be held at 1pm on Tuesday 22 May in the Waterfront Room (W11/1). Visitors to the WRAP stand No F94 will also be able to enter a wine tasting competition to guess which of a selection of wines has been bulk imported and which has been bottled in the country of origin. The UK is the largest importer of wine in the world, with over one billion litres imported each year from Europe and the New World. Around 80% of this wine arrives bottled. Andy Dawe, WRAP“s Glass Technology Manager said: “By encouraging the industry to bulk import wine and bottle it here in the UK, we can reduce the amount of green glass entering our recycling systems and also increase the use of lighter weight bottles, which use less raw material and are better for the environment”. “As well as cutting glass waste, this approach also improves the industry“s carbon emissions profile, and saves money by reducing transport and energy costs”. Mr. Dawe added: “We are looking forward to having a strong presence at this year“s LIWSF, and will be encouraging delegates to find out more about the commercial and environmental advantages of lightweight glass and bulk importing”. Research suggests that the current average weight of a 75cl wine bottle is 500g, but it is possible to produce 300g bottles. Constellation and Tesco have already signed up to GlassRite, and are engaged in a series of commercial trials to look at the issues surrounding bulk importing and lightweighting. WRAP is also pioneering the use of lighter glass packaging in other food and drink sectors, including spirits and beer. Through this initiative Rockware Glass produced the first commercially available 70cl spirits bottle to weigh under 300 grams; Coors Brewers Ltd reduced the weight of its 300ml Grolsch beer bottle by 23%, and Adnams Brewery adopted a new “best in class“ lightweight bottle for its 500ml Broadside, Explorer and The Bitter brands.