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A Greener Solution

So what's the problem with glass bottles?

 

The simple answer is that glass bottles are the wine industry's biggest greenhouse gas contributor. And for wine to play its part in preventing further global warming, it simply must stop using single use glass bottles for most wine.

What's the alternative?

To minimise the carbon footprint of the wines we drink, we need to seek out wines in alternative packaging wherever possible.

There are several viable alternative formats, which include boxed wines, canned wine, kegs, returnable glass bottles, paper bottles and pouches. These all come with a vastly reduced carbon footprint.

Data shows that if we were to switch from traditional glass bottles to alternative formats of packaging, we could save up to 750 million kilos of greenhouse gas emissions every year in the UK alone. That’s the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road. Just imagine…

BIB (bag-in-box) is currently the best solution; the format is 10 times more carbon friendly than glass bottles and has a lower CO2eq than any other current format.

Lightweight materials have a lower climate impact

The production of virgin glass is a hugely energy intensive process; using furnaces that need to be consistently maintained at 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Glass is recycled using the same furnaces, hence it doesn’t provide a viable solution.

Glass bottles are heavy and their shape makes them inefficient to transport.

By contrast, boxed wines can be transported in flat-pack prior to filling and efficiently stacked thereafter. More units can be shipped in a single transport load, which means fewer trips required, decreased fuel consumption and lower associated carbon emissions.

And finally, there are the packaging efficiencies. Bag-in-box wine uses a flexible plastic bladder or bag to hold the wine, which is placed inside a cardboard box. This packaging design requires fewer raw materials compared to glass bottles, resulting in reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions during manufacturing.

Our Recycling Scheme

Customers can be sceptical when we say that our packaging is 100% recyclable. But for us, this was an essential aspect of the business. We were the first boxed wine company to offer bag and tap recycling through a freepost, closed-loop recycling system.

We’ve joined forces with specialist recycler Enval, who have created a technique that uses pyrolysis to break our bags, taps and taster pouches down into base feedstock products that can be used to make new products. This negates the requirement to use fossil fuel based feedstocks and creates a closed loop.

It's a huge leap forward and a world first, and should become part of our nation's kerbside collection strategy. But in the meantime, we're sending freepost returns envelopes out with our taster packs, and you can add a free Recycling Bag to your orders in the shop or through the Club. The Recycling Bags take up to ten bags and taps, so we'd ask you to wait until you have as close to this number as possible to maximise efficiency.

Now that amazing wines are available in boxed format, making the switch away from glass bottles could be the easiest way to significantly cut down your personal carbon footprint.

Wine at its best brings people together and can become a focal point and catalyst for change. Carelessly damaging our environment makes no sense to us at all, and we’re proud that our BIBs contribute towards the solution. Join the mission.

Don’t just take our word for it…

“Those who care about saving the planet are mindful of the tiny carbon footprint of wine boxes compared with heavy glass bottles.”
Jane MacQuitty, The Times (July 2023)

“Why buy bag-in-box? Convenience, yes, but also caring for the planet. BIB wines are sustainable and sourced direct; their carbon footprint is 10 times lower than glass bottles; their transport cuts down on carbon emissions; and the boxes, bags, taps and pouches are 100% recyclable (you get a freepost returns envelope for the taps, bags and pouches).”
Joanna Simon, Award-winning wine writer (July 2023)

“Life under lockdown saw consumers change their buying habits, switching to bulk purchases and more sustainable options. On this front, cardboard wins hands down; the energy used to produce glass bottles is immense compared with that needed to produce cardboard, which can usually also be recycled."
Helena Nicklin, The Daily Mail (August 2022)

References

In 2018, Gaia Consulting calculated the CO2e footprints of the different types of wine packaging. The report explains that beverage packaging and its manufacture accounts for a significant proportion of a beverage’s carbon footprint. Find out more and read the full report here.

Our specialist recycling partner, Enval, is changing the perception of plastics and unlocking a circular economy for flexible packaging. Check out their work here.


Find out more about what we do here.

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