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Waitrose unveils refillable wine

Published:  05 June, 2019

Waitrose is trialling refillable wine at its Oxford Botley Road store, as part of a drive to cut down on packaging.

Four wines will be available on tap and can be taken home in glass refillable bottles. When in Rome is the only wine brand available on tap, and one of only two alcohol brands available, the other is Toast beer.

Wine and a glass bottle will cost £7.99, while a refill will cost £6.99. That compares to a 2.25L When in Rome bag-in-box (equivalent to three bottles) which costs £24.99, or £8.33 per bottle, so a refill would be 16% cheaper for an eco-friendly shopper.

Four wines will be available to sample or buy in When in Rome branded refillable glass bottles. Three wines will be permanent, a Nero d’Avola, a Pinot Grigio and a Rosato, plus a rotating wine of the month which is currently Barbera, then Grillo, then Passerina.

When in Rome said it will supply the store with “10L recyclable BiBs direct from Italy, mostly by train to reduce the carbon footprint”.

The ‘Waitrose Unpacked’ concept, which will have a trial run of 11 weeks until 18 August, will offer 160 products of loose fruit and veg, plus 46 products for customers to refill including wine and beer as well as pasta and grains, coffee, frozen fruit and cleaning products.

“We’re encouraging customers to bring their reusable bags and containers, or borrow them from us, so together we can cut packaging waste,” said Waitrose.

Overall prices for the refillable products will typically be around 15% cheaper than packaged alternatives.