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Consumers have gone green - from the type of food they buy to the kinds of cleaning products they use to clean their homes.
So it's no surprise that wine manufacturers are following suit with green wine packaging -- environmentally-friendly, recyclable products made of cardboard, plastic and other sustainable derivatives -- to store and transport wine.
Are wine bottles out? No, but more wine makers are developing eco-friendly wine packaging alternatives such as paper wine boxes to mesh with customers' green lifestyles.
The Eco-Friendly Shift
Eco-friendly wine packaging isn't new; lower-end wines have been sold in wine cardboard boxes in France for decades.
But upscale wine makers -- who in the past have scoffed at storing or shipping containers in anything other than glass bottles and traditional packaging materials -- are now embracing the trend of green wine packaging.
Tastes have shifted, at least a bit. Wine lovers are more open to buying wine in containers other than glass, such as paper-based and plastic cartons. In fact, experts predict that even more wine makers will go lighter in terms of storage -- lighter glass bottles and lighter plastic bottles made from recyclable materials -- in the future.
And, wineries are increasingly shipping wine in carriers and shipping trays made of sustainable items such as recycled newspaper, compostable pulp and corrugated materials.
How popular is the green wine packaging trend?
It's so popular that Italy's Ministry of Agriculture, which regulates the country's wine and grape industry, now allows its top wine producers to sell wine in upscale bags-in-box - wine boxes built with plastic pockets inside of them that first emerged in France in the 1980s. And Almaden and Inglenook wines announced plans to shift from traditional 3 and 4-liter glass jugs to bags-in-box containers. These two brands alone account for more than 10 million cases, according to industry figures.
Green Wine Packaging Has Its Benefits
Supporters of environmentally-friendly wine packaging tout its benefits. Glass can be recycled, but it is heavier, takes more energy, and is more expensive to transport than eco-friendly alternatives. And storing and transporting wine in more environmentally-friendly wine packaging puts less stress on the environment. The newer, improved packaging allows winemakers to reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 55 percent, according to California-based Wine Group, which produces wine in a box.
Consider the possible effects on the United States:
If wineries packaged all bottled wines sold in the United States in boxes, it would save about 941 million tons of glass, according to figures from the Wine Group. Carbon emissions would decrease by 1.5 million tons a year -- the equivalent of taking 250,000 cars off the road.
About the Author: This article is written by Semie Lee and brought to you by Unisource Wine, your one source for sustainable wine packaging solutions.
Unisource Wine is a manufacturer of wine carriers and wine shippers. Visit us online at http://www.unisourcewine.com for more information on wine packaging and shipping supplies..
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