Glass is premium, plastic isn't. Yet it appears that in future upscale beverages like sparkling wine and perhaps champagne will come in plastic bottles.
Having won Milan Design Week's 2023 Best Packaging contest, SIPA Packaging's design for a PET sparkling wine bottle will reportedly be coming to market. The recyclable bottle "maximizes logistics efficiencies, minimizes handling risks, runs on existing glass-filling lines, and has a lower carbon footprint," says SIPA.
"The patented bottle is an improved alternative to traditional glass bottles," the company insists, "helping the European wine industry address a glass shortage due to supply chain, energy and raw material challenges. The average cost of a glass wine bottle increased 23 percent from April 2020 to April 2023, and doubled in some European markets."
"At just 90g, the new PET sparkling wine bottle is about 80 percent lighter than a traditional glass bottle and is almost unbreakable. The optimal weight allows up to 33 percent more bottles per truck, and its shatter-proof properties help improve mobility logistics."
While plastic recycling rates are abysmal in America, glass recycling is, like a poorly-handled glass bottle, "broken," according to the American Chemical Society. Where I live in the South, glass recycling is not offered and thus it goes into the landfill. So I do see some wisdom in moving towards plastic bottles over glass. However, the transition does make me think of hotel rooms stopping daily housekeeping: A classic case of This doesn't improve anything for the end user, but does increase the company's profits and can be cloaked in environmental concerns.
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