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GlassRite Wine project results at LIWF

The results of the GlassRite project to help the UK wine sector reduce glass waste and carbon emissions were unveiled at the London wine fair (May 18) 

GlassRite Wine was commissioned by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to identify opportunities for the wine sector to make environmental and commercial savings. Commencing in 2006 and completing in March 2010, the project has contributed CO2 savings of almost 35,000 tonnes per year by:

• reducing glass bottle weight by a total 27,048 tonnes through the use of lighter weight bottles;

• increasing the use of recycled glass in UK wine bottle manufacture by 44,295 tonnes per annum; and

• increasing bulk importation of wine for UK filling by the equivalent of 190 million 75cl glass bottles

It is also estimated that switching to bulk importation from traditional pre-bottled transportation makes a further CO2 saving of up to 40%.

Nicola Jenkin, responsible for the drinks category at WRAP, said the achievements were in line with the targets initially set but that further work could be done by the sector, building on the current momentum, to make further savings:

“We know from our previous projects that huge opportunities continue to exist to use more lighter weight bottles and increase the use of recycled content in UK manufactured glass bottles (by bulk importing wine into the country).  This is what will achieve a more resource efficient international wine supply chain.

“This second phase of the project has been about engaging with both the UK and international wine sector to identify barriers and opportunities for positive change, and to act as the catalyst to support this change. 

“A particular highlight for the project has been the development of an innovative 300g screw cap bottle - the first in the world.  This bottle, developed with Quinn Glass, is 40g lighter than the previous lightest bottle manufactured in the UK and is now being used by major UK supermarkets. 

“If the bottle was adopted for all wine sold in the UK it would generate an annual glass saving of 153,000 tonnes – equivalent to the weight of more than 460 jumbo jets – and cut CO2 emissions by 119,000 tonnes.

“WRAP has also analysed opportunities for using lighter weight bottles for sparkling wines.  This research, which investigates bottles produced in all the major wine producing regions, suggests that internationally, almost 175,000 tonnes of glass savings could be made through using lighter weight bottles that are still fit for purpose.

“A lot of fantastic work is being done by the international wine sector with more and more brands adopting lighter weight bottles or bulk exporting.  Building on this momentum is important to ensure the sector continues to improve its environmental impact and play a role in protecting its future during this period of climatic uncertainty,” she added.

Gavin Partington said:  “The results of the GlassRite Wine project are very positive and demonstrate the commitment of the wine sector to work with WRAP and others to reduce its carbon emissions. 

“We’ve supported the project from the start because we share the goal of reducing the industry’s environmental impact, not least because it makes sound economic sense for businesses in the trade.”

Anyone interested in the use of lighter weight wine bottles, increasing recycled content or bulk importation to the UK, should visit where a number of practical resources can be accessed, free of charge. 

About WRAP
WRAP works with businesses and individuals to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.
Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on
Phase I of GlassRite Wine was managed by British Glass.  Phase II was managed by WSP Environmental.

1 May 2010 - Felicity Murray