The results of a project to help the UK wine sector reduce its glass waste and carbon emissions have been unveiled this week.
The GlassRite Wine project was commissioned by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to identify opportunities for the sector to make both environmental and commercial savings.
Commencing in 2006 and completed in March 2010, the project has reduced glass bottle weight by a total of 27,048 tonnes through the use of lighter-weight bottles.
The project has also increased the use of recycled glass in UK wine bottle manufacture by 44,295 tonnes per annum and decreased the bulk importation of wine for filling in the UK by the equivalent of 190 million 75cl glass bottles.
The WRAP’s Nicola Jenkin said that the achievements were in line with the targets initially set but that further work could be done by the sector, building on the current momentum, to make further savings.
’We know from our previous projects that huge opportunities still exist to use more lighter-weight bottles and increase the use of recycled content in UK-manufactured glass bottles by bulk importing wine into the country,’ she said.
A particular highlight of the project was the development of an innovative 300g screw-cap bottle – claimed to be the first in the world. This bottle, developed with Quinn Glass, is 40g lighter than the previous lightest bottle manufactured in the UK and is now being used by major UK supermarkets.
’If the bottle was adopted for all wine sold in the UK, it would generate an annual glass saving of 153,000 tonnes – equivalent to the weight of more than 460 jumbo jets – and cut CO2 emissions by 119,000 tonnes,’ said Jenkin.