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Laithwaites launches new Sicilian label packaged in 'wild' glass

Published:  25 January, 2022

Online retailer Laithwaites has enhanced its sustainability credentials with the release of W/O (standing for 'without') Frappato 2020, an organic Sicilian red housed in ‘wild’ glass – claiming a UK first for wine.

According to the glass manufacturer Estal, the term wild glass refers to products made from 100% PCR materials (Post Consumer Recycled).

The project will help Laithwaites to reach its longer-term goal of Net Zero, aiming to halve its carbon footprint by 2030. A recent audit commissioned from EcoAct, a specialist company advising on sustainability, showed that several factors, mostly outside the online retailer’s direct control, contributed to 95% of the emissions footprint of a bottle of wine – including the glass itself.

“Customers still want the bottle of wine they know and love, so while we will of course continue to look at alternative packaging, we wanted to find a traditional format that reduces our impact on the environment,” said Michael Johnson, innovation director at Laithwaites.

He added: “We happen to have found one that is also really beautiful. Because it essentially gives old glass a new life, every bottle is unique and a little ‘wild’ – with a slightly varied hue, little shimmers, and even tiny bubbles. And the truly wonderful thing is that our customers can then either recycle this bottle themselves, or re-use it as a vase, a water bottle – the possibilities, like the recycling, are endless.”

In addition, the bottle does not incorporate a plastic capsule, while the fully biodegradable label is a deliberately narrow strip, made using a single colour printing process and environmentally friendly pulp. Instead, and in another first for the company, additional information is accessed via a QR code.

The Frappato was made in partnership with Dino Tashcetti at his co-operative winery, one of Sicily’s leading organic producers thanks to the island’s warm and dry climate.

Laithwaites’ buyer for Italy, Leo Bassano, started working with Tashcetti five years ago and the latest collaboration means both parties can benefit from the wine’s reduced impact, including reduced air and water pollution and less energy used in production.

“Add this to the fact that we, as a company, have had several sustainability wins in recent years, including our investment in forestry projects to cover the emissions of every customer delivery each year - and you can see that this is our greenest red to date,” Johnson said.