Waste & Resources Action Programme is in the early stages of developing a lightweight wine bottle that could see UK retailers adopt the design for own-brand ranges.
The project, which sustainability consultancy WSP Environmental is leading from design to development with the backing of Wrap, is expected to address the perception and technical issues associated with lightweighting wine bottles. Technologists can make wine bottles much lighter but this affects the shape, and the design then starts to change significantly, says Wrap beverage category manager Nicola Jenkins.
‘The issue we have to overcome is the dumpy, ugly tag that gets attached to lightweight bottles, even though everyone wants lighter packaging,’ says Jenkins. ‘We need to ascertain acceptability of change, as well as the messaging that goes alongside that,’ she adds.
Flexibility of colour and shape in the design of a wine bottle, according to Jenkins, is important, because both give regional wines – such as Rioja or Bordeaux – unique bottle characteristics.
WSP Environmental will carry out fit-for-purpose tests with glass manufacturer Quinn Glass. Major UK retailers and Wrap signatories are expected to incorporate the new designs into their own-label ranges at the end of the programme.
Another part of the programme is to explore how lightweight bottles could be used across the champagne and sparkling wine sector, a category that has rigorous specifications and highly engineered bottles – factors that limit the lightweight options currently available.