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UK gets greener with bulk and lightweighting: LIWF 2008

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK wine industry has cut its carbon emission by 28,000 tonnes per year by increasing its bulk importing and using lighter bottles, according to a new report to be presented today.

The government-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will reveal there are more than 350 different wines have switched over to lightweight bottles in the past two years. Its findings show lighter weight bottles have reduced glass packaging by 11,400 tonnes each year and recycled glass has increased by nearly 24,000 tonnes.

199 million 75cl glass bottles are now filled with bulk imported wine each year in the UK instead of being bottled at source - an increase of 79m bottles since the start of the GlassRite Wine project in 2006.

Nicola Jenkin, WRAP beverages category manager, said: "The project has helped to kick-start a major change in the wine industry. In the past two years, lighter weight bottles have become a more regular feature on UK supermarket shelves. In addition, bulk importing is becoming a more mainstream alternative to bottling at source.

She added: "GlassRite Wine has worked with the industry to illustrate that sustainable business practices do not have to compromise commercial values of quality."

WRAP is expected to announce the project's second phase at its briefing session. As well as continuing its work in phase I, it plans to develop a commercially viable sub-300g wine bottle and trial the production of lighter weight Champagne and sparkling wine bottles.

Major retailers including Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, drinks giant Constellation, glass manufacturers and logistics companies have been part of the initiative. Andy Gale, Tesco BWS category technical manager, and a speaker at the seminar, said: "Glass is by far the heaviest component of our packaging waste and we believe we can make a substantial contribution to our target by reducing the weight of these containers."