The Wine Society has released four of its most popular wines in recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) bottles.
The latest trial, which includes The Society’s White Burgundy, follows the publication of its Alternative Packaging for Wine report in May.
The retailer said plastic bottles are considerably lighter than glass bottles, weighing 63g compared to an average of 460g for glass, “resulting in a lower-carbon footprint, as well as offering consumers greater convenience and portability”. The bottles are also fully recyclable, the company said.
While a shelf life of up to 18 months is technically possible, Society members are being recommended a drinking window of six months for this bottle format.
Dom de Ville, director of sustainability and social impact, said: “In our recent carbon report, we shared the news that glass bottles account for 31% of The Society’s total emissions. To achieve our ambitious reduction targets, we need to significantly reduce our emissions attributable to packaging. One way to do this is putting more of our wines into lower-carbon packaging formats. Although rPET might sound controversial, with today’s technology and in the absence of a proper system in the UK to collect and reuse glass bottles, the plastic bottle is a really good option. It has a lower-carbon footprint than glass and can be recycled at home.
“While we recognise there is a plastic pollution problem, it is not necessarily plastic itself that is the problem, rather it is what we do with it. This is why we are taking a practical approach to plastic, seeing its benefit in our efforts on climate change, rather than taking a black-or-white stance that all plastics are bad. This bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic and is recycled everywhere in the UK – which helps to support a more circular economy.”
The rPET trial follows the release of six of The Society’s wines in bag-in-box. Both measures are part of the company’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint.