One pioneering brand is testing the waters by trading in glass bottles for new ones made from recycled materials—and they're totally flat on all sides.

By Zee Krstic
December 05, 2019

If you're a bonafide wine aficionado, there's a good chance that you're going through a couple of glass bottles each week—and hopefully do your best to get those in curbside recycling boxes. Unfortunately, many counties and major cities have yet to recycle glass in their current collections programs from residents, per a recent Washington Post report; experts estimated that upwards of 60 percent of the wine industry's contributions to carbon emissions have to do with making and transporting glass bottles. A new design created overseas could be the much-needed innovative push in to help you reduce your footprint while enjoying a daily glass of wine.

Courtesy of Garçon Wines

London-based Garçon Wines has created a plastic wine bottle that is more sustainable than their glass counterparts; furthermore, the brand sources all of their materials from recycled PET plastic. According to their website, the founders behind the brand wanted to create bottles that could fit inside mailboxes, which is how they inevitably landed on their eco-friendly solution. The flat bottles are reportedly 87 percent lighter than a glass bottle, according to this Forbes profile on the company, and each and every bottle can save upwards of 500 grams of carbon dioxide across a supply chain. The flat shape also means that these bottles are much smaller (around 40 percent, per the brand's website) and helps to cut down on overall transportation costs and emissions. 

Related: Understanding Red Wine: How to Decide if Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, or Syrah Is Your Preferred Style

"Over the last two centuries, there's been very little innovation in the wine packaging industry," Santiago Nevarro, one of the brand's co-founders, told Forbes. "Since the Bordeaux and Burgundy style bottles were introduced in the 19th century to improve on the preceding 17th century onion bottle, the most significant developments have been the bag-in-box and the screw cap—both of which were introduced over 50 years ago." Nevarro says that a flat plastic bottle design also eliminates a significant amount of packing materials compared to round, glass bottles. "Excessive use of packaging at a time when we need to be more resource-efficient is unsustainable," Navarro told Forbes. "Furthermore, mitigating against climate change has become an existential necessity." 

While it's unclear if any companies in the United States' wine industry are currently planning on adapting a new packaging model, Garçon Wines' representatives say that they are happy to share their design with any brand looking to make sustainable updates to their business. "We can supply a turnkey solution of dry goods and bottling to companies wanting to offer their own wines and brands, in a more sustainable way, in our eco, flat bottles," the company writes on their site. "Also, in some cases, we may supply empty bottles only or all the dry goods."

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