Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Cramele Recas rolls out rPET Danube project to UK

Published:  13 March, 2023

Romanian winemaker Cramele Recas is launching first-of-its-kind wine bottles made entirely from recycled plastic recovered from the Danube, targeting Europe and the UK, following a successful trial in Germany.

Back in November, Harpers reported that Romania’s largest wine exporter was experimenting with bottles made from recycled plastic (rPET) taken from Europe’s longest and most polluted river.

Now, the winery is scaling up its eco-operations with the bottles coming to market under the Richtig Lecker label.

The Danube currently transports approximately 1,500 tonnes of PET plastic into the Black Sea every year.

Traditionally, drinkers have been reluctant to move away from glass bottles, Cramele Recas said, with many regarding wine bottled in plastic as inferior quality. This includes resistance from retailers. Despite selling its wine in most major retailers, Cramele Recas reports concern from wine buyers around consumer perception.

Philip Cox, co-owner of Cramele Recas, is now looking to change these views. He is calling on retailers to update their ranges with alternative packaging in order to help reduce the industry’s CO2 emissions, 40% of which come from the production of glass bottles.

“The wine industry has faced significant challenges in recent years caused by climate change. As an industry, we really need to reduce CO2 emissions by finding alternatives to glass, which is the most significant cause of CO2 emissions in wine production. This, in turn, is messing up the weather [and therefore] grape growing, which is a major danger to our industry,” he said.

Last year was a challenging year for winemakers, Cox added. Extremely reliant on the weather, many suffered from major droughts throughout the summer, followed by hail and torrential rain during harvest. As the weather continues to become increasingly erratic, ironically, it is the production and disposal of glass bottles with high CO2 emissions which are one of the major contributors to climate change.

“Our biggest obstacle is now facing the retailers who are too scared to take wine sold in plastic bottles seriously. We hope that by raising awareness of the benefits of using rPET, shoppers will vote with their feet and the bottles will go on sale in the UK soon,” Cox concluded.

Richtig Lecker is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in Romania and will now be bottled in 100% reclaimed PET from the River Danube.