Plastic Bottles for Wine


All of the M&S range of 25cl still-wine bottles are being moved from glass to plastic. This size is popular with consumers stocking up for a picnic or taking a train journey. Each bottle contains two glasses of wine.

The wine will cost the same as when it was sold in glass bottles. There are 19 types - red, white and pink. M&S says that 6 per cent of all of the wine it sells are in 25 cl bottles, and it sells about 100,000 per week. The company estimates that the switch will save it 525 tonnes of packaging a year.

The new bottles, made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), are much lighter; only 12% of the weight of the glass bottles they are replacing. Less energy is used in their manufacture. The lightweight bottles also means that lorries use less fuel to deliver them. The plastic can be recycled #.

Sainsbury's introduced plastic bottles for a range of 32 standard sized bottles three years ago. Waitrose is also launching a Shiraz and Chenin Blanc in a 75cl plastic bottle, as consumers become increasingly tolerant of plastic.

Last year, the UK imported over 1.7 billion 75cl bottles of wine which equates to about 600,000 tonnes of packaging. The Government waste quango, WRAP, has put retailers under pressure to reduce the amount of packaging they use.

Nick Room, the Waitrose wine buyer, said: "Wine-drinkers can be quite precious about compromising on taste and quality, which is something we have been very careful to ensure doesn't happen with the new plastic packaging".

The bottles have a shelf-life guaranteed for 12 months and proven for 24 months. The quality of the wine is not compromised by using plastic packaging.

# (....isn't it better to re-use rather than re-cycle? - Ed)

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