Better for the environment? Paper wine bottles – economy
Wine drinkers have a more traditional approach. Whether white, red or rosé, the bottle must be made of glass and sealed with a natural cork, and the label must also be something. Many consumers are not very flexible, especially when it comes to the upper price segment. who against Wine buys it in a three-liter tetra pack, you have to bend down in the supermarket. At the bottom is usually what is cheap, makes less demands on quality and still works well. But even when it comes to wine, appearances are important if you want to be in the front row.
Anyone who shakes this value system must be a bit crazy, or at least willing to take risks. The experiment that a Wiesbaden wine importer, Heinz Hein GmbH, is currently embarking on probably also falls into this category: It is about wine bottles that are mainly made of paper, weigh exactly 82 grams and are therefore significantly lighter than their 750 gram counterpart of glass. According to the wine merchant, three wines from Umbria are to be bottled and sold in individual branches of Edeka and Rewe at a price of 9.99 euros. So the wine in the paper container is not a bargain.
The new packaging should be significantly more sustainable than others. In its composition, the paper bottle is similar to the composite cartons in which milk and fruit juices, but also wine, are filled. According to the German Environmental Aid, a tetrapack consists of up to seven layers of material – plastic, aluminum and cardboard – the paper bottles only need three layers of material: a PET film, an outer cover made of printed cardboard, and the closure is made of aluminum. The advantage of this is that the bottles can be recycled more easily. This year there was the PAC Global Award for innovative packaging in New York.
Experts argue about which is better: returnable or disposable bottles?
Experts have been arguing for years about what is really better for the environment and climate – reusable or disposable. A paper bottle can only be filled once, a glass bottle can be reused countless times. But the latter is pure theory. Most wine bottles end up in the glass container after being used once, and there is no comprehensive deposit system. In 2021 alone, almost 860 million bottles of wine in the 0.7 liter format were sold in Germany. Quartz sand, soda and lime are required for their manufacture. Up to 70 percent of new glass bottles are made from recycled glass, and green bottles sometimes even contain 90 percent. But the energy requirement for this is enormous. Energy costs have increased significantly since the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The buyers in the wine industry also feel this.
In any case, the owner of Heinz Hein, Silvia Miebach, is convinced of the ecological advantage of the paper bottle. The alternative packaging does not leave as large an ecological footprint as glass production, which alone uses a lot of water, she emphasizes. The lower weight also reduces fuel consumption during transport. And if the paper bottle experiment does go wrong, it’s always good as free advertising.