Innovation That Matters

Plastic bottles for carbon-saving wines

Food & Drink

The key to wine may lie in the soil, but it’s the container that carries a heavy carbon footprint. That’s why Yealands—a sustainable winemaker from New Zealand—is producing wine in plastic bottles. Shattering the shining, purist image of glass, the recyclable PET plastic used in Yealands’ newly launched Full Circle range generates 54% less greenhouse gas emissions and uses 19% less energy. The plastic bottles boast a weight saving of 89% over glass, earning them kudos as carbon-saving cargo. The first full circle wine is a 2009 Sauvignon Blanc. To ensure that the wine quality is unaffected, Full Circle bottles use new DiamondClear technology, which keeps oxygen out of the wine, and feature best-before labels advising customers to drink the wine within 18 months. Yealands’ owner, Peter Yealands, believes that plastic-bottled wine is here to stay: “Tim Atkin, one of the UK’s leading wine critics from the Observer, has declared war on overweight packaging by vowing to boycott wines sold in heavyweight wine bottles,” he says. Yealands’ efforts at sustainability are far-reaching, from a solar- and wind-powered winery, to replacing lawnmowers with sheep in the vineyards. The company has already earned a CarboNZero certification from New Zealand’s Landcare Research organisation; the Full Circle range will bring Yealands yet more eco-bounty. Not only will it appeal to green-conscious consumers, the smaller size and lighter weight of the plastic bottles also makes them more convenient for picnics, and a new option for pubs and outdoor events where glass is banned. There are definite echoes of the screw-top vs. cork debate—will plastic bottles be the next vinous trend? (Related: Local bottling makes for greener wine at Waitrose.) Spotted by: Raymond Kollau



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