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Laithwaites leans into recycled glass

Published:  27 July, 2022

Online retailer Laithwaites has expanded its first recycled glass range following better-than-expected initial sales.

The extension of Laithwaites’ W/O range is the latest development in the growing sustainability agenda in the UK, which is increasingly putting the spotlight on the need for packaging materials with lighter carbon footprints.

After selling out in 72 hours, the Frappato – the first launch in the W/O range – Laithwaites has now added an organic white and rosé to its roster.

W/O was conceived last year as the UK’s first wine brand to be bottled in 100% recycled glass. Corks are displayed without a capsule, meaning no plastic jacket is needed. The fully biodegradable labels are also made using a single colour printing process with an environmentally friendly pulp.

Advised by sustainability specialist EcoAct earlier this year, Laithwaites discovered that several factors contributed to 95% of the emissions footprint of a bottle of wine – including the glass itself. Grape growing and winemaking, on the other hand, account for 15% and 17%, respectively.

“We wanted to give our customers a product format that they are familiar with, but that reduces our impact on the environment,” Louise O’Hara, product innovation manager at Laithwaites, said.

“The fact that our inaugural red sold out within 72 hours of its launch – and that the stock kept flying out every time it hit our online site – shows how supportive everyone has been of the project.”

“Glass is infinitely recyclable without loss in quality or purity,” she added.

The recognised need for alternatives to the virgin glass norm is growing more rapidly than ever. Enotria & Coe MD Sam Thackeray predicted that sustainable packaging would be the most impactful drink innovation in our Looking Ahead series this week.

“We haven’t necessarily seen sustainable credentials immediately correlate to a boost in sales, but they certainly give a brand a relevant talking point that resonates with consumers in today’s market,” he said.

Laithwaites’ W/O wines are made in partnership with Dino Taschetti at his co-operative winery. It’s one of Sicily’s leading organic producers, thanks to the island’s warm and dry climate. The new white is made from 100% Lucido grapes, while the rosé is pressed from 100% Nero d’Avola.