Waitrose bottles young bottle wine in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of finished drinks.
The supermarket plans to convert all 6-ounce glass wine bottles — except those containing champagne, prosecco, cava and rioja due to restrictions imposed by those private labels — to aluminum cans by next week. The cans come in sizes of 187ml, 200ml and 250ml.
The move to “vin in a tin” is expected to save more than 300 tons of glass packaging and will cut the carbon footprint of each beverage in half because recyclable cans require less energy to transport because they are lighter and take up less space than bottles.
The move comes after the popularization of “gin in a tin” and other canned cocktails, especially during pandemic lockdowns, which prompted outdoor drinking and picnics.
Beverage makers are looking at alternative packaging because the price of glass has nearly tripled since the start of the pandemic amid increased demand for other materials besides plastic packaging.
The price of aluminum has also increased but by about a third, according to data from Letsrecycle.com. Waitrose said it wouldn’t necessarily achieve cost savings from the policy shift since it costs more to fill a glass can.
Barry Dick, director of bulk sourcing for beer, wine and spirits at Waitrose, which last year bought in 3 million micro-bottles of wine, said: “We’re thrilled to be pioneering this step and making reducing waste easier for our customers. We know more people are buying their drinks in smaller formats. canned, from on-the-go cocktails to craft beers, which is why making this shift in our wine category makes so much sense.
“Buying a case of wine is a great way to enjoy wine in moderation, especially if you’re headed out to a picnic or social event. It also enables customers to try a new variety without worrying about waste or cost. We hope this move encourages suppliers to continue to develop an exciting variety.” of wine in cans.”
The new bots will include a wide range of grape choices including white, red and rose Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
In the UK, about three-quarters of aluminum cans and bottles are recycled, mostly through local authority kerbside collections, according to the government.
While cans and bottles can be infinitely recycled (with glass sorting plants now able to ensure that the material can be used to make new bottles, according to the Waste and Resource Action Programme) in the past, a large proportion of waste glass was used for building aggregates.
Scotland and Wales plan to include the bottles in deposit return schemes expected to launch this summer and next year respectively, but the UK government has said this will not be the case for the English and Northern Irish versions, which will focus on plastic bottles.