Flat Wine Bottles that Fit on the Bookshelf
6/17/2024 New Creations Machinery Change Innovative Processes Article

Flat Wine Bottles that Fit on the Bookshelf

Wine bottles are traditionally round and made of glass. But not at Aldi in the UK. There they are now flat and made of recycled PET. There are also alternative packaging solutions for wine in supermarkets in Austria. A question of taste and sustainability.

Two flat PET wine bottles on a set table. Aldi in the UK has recently started bottling two wines from its own brand Chapter & Verse in flat, square bottles.

The space required by a product is a significant cost factor in retail. Be it for storage or on the sales floor. To optimize this, Aldi has recently filled two wines from its own brand Chapter & Verse in flat, square bottles. They take up less space. The new packaging for the Shiraz and Chardonnay wines is also more environmentally friendly. It is made from 100 percent recycled PET and weighs just 63 grams. This makes it seven times lighter than a standard glass wine bottle, explains a spokesperson for British Aldi. The bottles are also more resilient and shatterproof. The German discounter in the UK developed the 75 cl containers for its own wine brand Chapter & Verse in cooperation with the packaging company Packamama.

PET wine bottles and test tube. Packaging manufacturer Alpla is launching a new sustainable solution for wine producers on the Austrian market with the PET wine bottle.

According to Aldi UK, thanks to the new flattened design, 30 percent more bottles fit on a wooden Euro pallet, which means that 30 percent fewer truck trips are needed to deliver the same amount of wine to the stores. “We know that customers are placing more value on environmentally friendly, sustainable products”, explains Julie Ashfield, responsible for purchasing at Aldi UK. “We are very happy to take this into account and are tirelessly looking for improvements.” In terms of environmental protection and functionality, the new PET wine bottles are an excellent example of this.

Wine in a Paper Bottle

In addition to the introduction of plastic bottles for wine, Aldi also wants to reduce the weight of all wine bottles in its range by eight percent by 2025. The discounter had already put wine in paper bottles on the shelves at the beginning of the month to offer customers an alternative to glass packaging. Wine in paper bottles is already on the market in Germany, but is not yet established.

PET Wine Bottle from Alpla

Fans of wine can also turn to alternative packaging in the Austrian retail sector. Billa, Penny, & Co. have recently started selling the “Wegenstein-Heurigen” in a recyclable PET bottle developed by packaging manufacturer Alpla.

According to the company, the bottle weighs just 50 grams and has, therefore, around one eighth of the weight of glass, reduces the CO2 footprint by up to 50 percent and saves up to 30 percent in price. It can be made from 100 percent recycled PET material (rPET). The packaging solution is available in 0.75 liter and 1 liter bottle sizes and is already being used in Austria by pilot customer and development partner Weinkellerei Wegenstein, making it part of the Europe-wide bottle-to-bottle cycle. The new packaging solution will also be available as a returnable bottle starting in 2025.

Alpla will provide the recycled material from its own recycling plants. The low weight of the packaging also has positive effects during transportation. There is also a cost advantage. PET wine bottles from Alpla are up to 30 percent cheaper than glass bottles.

The sustainable packaging solution works with conventional metal screw caps, is compatible with the wine producers’ bottling lines and thus ensures flexibility. At Wegenstein, the PET bottles are filled on the same lines as the glass bottles. “The bottle is perfectly matched to the bottling and transportation processes”, reports Sebastian Rosenberger, Project Manager at Alpla. “The PET bottle delivers what it promises. It is visually appealing, ensures our quality, and is practical. We are making an innovative offer to consumers who care about our environment and our climate”, explains Herbert Toifl, Managing Director of Weinkellerei Wegenstein.

The topic is also a current one in Germany. Cooperatives in Baden-Württemberg have developed a 0.75-liter deposit bottle, which is intended to bring movement to the disposable market. Wine in one-liter deposit bottles has been around for years. The returnable system has enjoyed some success. But its market share is shrinking.