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Paper bottle makes its way to Laithwaites

Published:  04 July, 2022

Online wine merchant Laithwaites has launched its first wine packaged in a paper bottle – continuing a packaging trend which is rapidly gathering speed.

Redbrook Estate Bacchus 2021 is the first of its kind in the Laithwaites stable. Made from 94% recycled paper and a recyclable plastic pouch, the new addition weighs only 83g and has a carbon footprint six times lower than glass.

The new launch comes at a time when the trend for alternative packaging is growing at rapid speed.

Groups like the Wine Traders For Alternative Formats (WTAF) have put a bigger spotlight on the need for alternatives for everyday drinking, including the ‘bag in box’ bottle also used by the Philip Schofield-backed When in Rome format, which is also made from recycled cardboard and a bag insert.

“We were delighted when [winemaker Neil Walker] came to us with his Redbrook Bacchus wine,” Laithwaites buyer Becca Reeves said. “He’s a self-confessed wine science nut – completely committed to finding the most environmentally friendly winemaking methods.

“Neil is determined to remove glass from his wines and we’re excited to be on that journey with him.”

Speaking last month’s London Wine Fair, Oliver Lea, CEO of The BIB Wine Company and founding member of the WTAF said: “The heart of the issue is simple – the manufacturing and recycling of glass bottles is by far the largest contributor to wine’s carbon footprint, and if we don’t use alternative formats wherever possible, we won’t make the deep and meaningful cuts required across all sectors.”

The need for alternative formats has also been highlighted by groups such as Alko, the national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly in Finland. According to one of its recent studies, the manufacture of drinks packaging accounts for a significant proportion of a beverage’s carbon footprint, with “great variations in the carbon footprints of different types of wine packaging. Glass bottles generate the most emissions and greatest environmental impacts per litre of beverage, while boxed wines generate the smallest.

“One easy-to-remember rule is: the lighter and more recyclable the packaging, the smaller its climate impacts,” it said.

Redbrook Estate Bacchus, English Regional Wine 2021, is currently available from at £18.99 (£14.99 in a mix of 12+ bottles).

More on the need breed of packaging is out with the August issue of Harpers, available online and in print this Friday.