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Wine News

Bulk wine on the up

Wine imported in bulk and then bottled in the UK has increased significantly in the past 12 months. The figures from UK wine fillers taking part in the GlassRite Wine project indicate that the amount of bulk wine imported increased by 54 per cent between July 2006 and June 2007, according to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme).

GlassRite Wine was launched last year to encourage the trade to bulk import then bottle in lighter glass manufactured in the UK to achieve environmental benefits. This increase in bulk imported wine means that an extra 20,000 tonnes of lightweighted glass bottles have been produced here, which have in turn led to the use of an additional 14,000 tonnes of recycled glass.

Andy Dawe, WRAP’s head of retail programmes, said, ‘This is very encouraging as it demonstrates that the work of all the GlassRite Wine partners is delivering real results.

‘By encouraging the industry to bulk import wine and bottle it here in the UK, we are reducing the amount of green glass entering our recycling systems, increasing the domestic market for recycled glass and also increasing the use of lighter-weight bottles, which use less raw material and are better for the environment.’

He added, ‘As well as cutting glass waste, this approach also improves the industry’s carbon emissions profile, and saves money by reducing transport and energy costs.’

There is also news this week of another company heading down the more environmentally friendly wine route. An Australian company has launched a brand called Brightlite, which is packaged in aluminium bottles. These have the benefit of being even lighter than glass.