CO2 emissions have been cut by over 28,000 tonnes, equivalent to taking more than 8,500 cars off the road, as a result of the groundbreaking industry programme GlassRite Wine.
The project, funded by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), has shown that bulk importing of wine into the UK and the use of lighter weight bottles can lead to major environmental and business benefits for the wine industry.
WRAP will be presenting the findings from the first phase of GlassRite Wine at this year’s London International Wine Fair (Stand F94). In addition, details of a second phase of work, which will build on achievements to date, will be announced.
The first phase of GlassRite Wine ran from Summer 2006 to March 2008, managed by British Glass, and involved an impressive list of UK retailers, major international wine brands, producers and agents, fillers and glass manufacturers. As a direct result of the initiative:
- CO2 emissions have been cut by over 28,000 tonnes per year as a combined result of bulk importing and use of lighter bottles;
- 199 million 75cl glass bottles are now filled with bulk imported wine each year in the UK instead of being bottled at source – an increase of 79 million glass bottles;
- the use of recycled glass has increased by nearly 24,000 tonnes per year, because (as a consequence of more bulk imported wine) more wine bottles are being made in the UK;
- glass packaging has been reduced by 11,400 tonnes per year as a result of wine being bottled in lighter weight bottles; and
- more than 350 different wine label bottles have been lightweighted during the project.
Nicola Jenkin, WRAP’s beverages category manager said: “This project has helped to kick-start a major change in the wine industry. In the past two years, lighter weight bottles have become a more regular feature on UK supermarket shelves. In addition, bulk importing is becoming a more mainstream alternative to bottling at source.
“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..”
More than 10 separate bulk importing and lightweighting initiatives were undertaken during the first phase, and included major UK retailers such as Asda, The Co-operative Group, Morrisons and Tesco; wine producers and brand owners such as Constellation Europe; glass manufacturers such as Quinn Glass; wine fillers such as Kingsland Wine & Spirits and logistics specialists such as Trans Ocean Distribution. WRAP have also worked, and continues to work, very closely with the Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) who provide invaluable advice and support.
Andy Gale, Tesco category technical manager for Beers, Wines and Spirits said: “Glass is by far the heaviest component of our packaging waste and we believe we can make a substantial contribution to our target by reducing the weight of these containers.”
Following on from the successful initiation of GlassRite Phase I, WRAP will be building on this momentum by continuing with a second phase of work, running until November 2009. This phase will continue to encourage the increased uptake of bulk importation of wine into the UK, where feasible and the use of lighter weight wine bottles. A network of advocates, based in the main wine producing countries, will act as spokespeople for WRAP’s work within the country of origin. In addition, the project will:
- develop and trial a sub-300g wine bottle that is both attractive to the wine industry and commercially viable; and
- assess the viability, and trial the production of lighter weight champagne and sparkling wine bottles.
In time for the LIWF, WRAP have recently updated the Wine Ready Reckoner – which calculates the transport cost, material cost and packaging savings and CO2 emission reductions, by reducing bottle weights or increasing bulk importation. The ready reckoner is available at www.wrap.org.uk/winebottles.
WRAP’s briefing session at LIWF, ‘Bottling wine in a changing climate’, will take place on Tuesday May 20th, 1.30pm-2.30pm, in the South Gallery Rooms 11/12.
- WRAP helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste and recycle more, making better use of resources and helping to tackle climate change.
- Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Working in seven key areas (Construction, Retail, Manufacturing, Organics, Business Growth, Behavioural Change, and Local Authority Support), WRAP’s work focuses on market development and support to drive forward recycling and materials resource efficiency within these sectors, as well as wider communications and awareness activities including the multi-media national Recycle Now campaign for England.
- More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on www.wrap.org.uk