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New ultra-light Mosel wine bottle from O-I

In response to the growing market demand for premium packaging with improved environmental impact, O-I has launched a lightweight Lean+Green version of the “Schlegel” bottle, the preferred packaging for Mosel wines and wines from the German region of Rheinhessen.

While reducing weight and thus the consumption of energy and raw materials, the SchlegelL+G retains its distinctive shape and premium image.

Considerably lighter than the standard Schlegel bottle at 360g instead of 440g, the SchlegelL+G is produced by O-I in The Netherlands in green and flint glass, with plans for an amber bottle in the near future.

In the production of the lightweight Schlegel bottle, the energy consumption is reduced by over 10%. Furthermore, a high percentage of recycled glass is used: about 75-80% for the green bottle and 30-40% for the bottle in flint glass. (The percentage for the flint bottle is considerably lower due to the fact that there is less recycled flint glass available.)

As it was vital that the bottle retained its classic look, the focus in the product development process was not only on reducing the weight and the resulting environmental benefits. The ratio of volume between the neck and shoulder, and the body of the bottle, has been elegantly shifted without touching the distinctive shape of the 750ml bottle.

The product design team also made sure that the height and diameter of the bottle remained the same. “This means that the bottlers do not have to make changes to their production lines, so no extra investment is needed”, explains Benoît Villaret, marketing manager for Wine, O-I Europe.

As with the other Lean+Green bottles, O-I has succeeded in creating a win/win situation for producer, consumer and the environment with the lightweight Schlegel bottle. “We have been able to deliver a product that weighs less and is made with less energy. At the same time it fully supports the image of the wine”, concludes Mr Villaret.

Last year, O-I’s Lean+Green concept won two awards at the 2009 Packaging Evolution Awards in Sydney, Australia. It was named ‘Most Innovative Solution in Packaging Waste Management in Australia’, and became the overall winner with the ‘Best in Show’ Award.

1 March 2010 - Felicity Murray