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Controversy over PET suitability for wine bottles

As we know more and more companies are converting to alternative more sustainable packaging. Top of the list is replacing glass with plastic - thus reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

Indeed Marks and Spencer announced it was replacing 100% of its single serve wine bottles to multilayer PET.

However, the Marks & Spencer announcement coincided with a study, from the Bordeaux, France-based Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV), which said wine packaged in multilayer PET exhibits a noticeable reduction in quality within just six months.

Although the study is still in it's preliminary stages findings so far have shown that white wines packaged in the single and multi-layer PET bottles were “clearly oxidised” after six months, while the glass packaged wines were described as “stable”. This was reportedly confirmed by both expert and novice tasting panels.

For red wines, ISVV said it found “initial signs” of deterioration in the PET and bag-in-box packs but there was not enough evidence to draw a definite conclusion.

Releasing these interim findings has caused some controversy, many see it as unprofessional to release results before the research has provided conclusive results. With many questions about testing methods still unanswered.