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Article | February 14, 2011
PET wine bottle takes off with Air Transat
Canadian supplier of fine wines Societe de Vin Internationale launches a 1-L PET barrier bottle for its wine brands that quickly takes flight with Air Transat airlines.
Societe de Vin Internationale LTEE, a leading supplier of fine wines, beers, and alcomalts, based in Laval, Quebec, Canada, has made its debut in plastic packaging, introducing what it says is the first 1-L PET wine bottle for the North American airline industry. The lightweight PET barrier container, supplied by Amcor Rigid Plastics, was designed to give cost-conscious airlines a high quality option that mimics glass while also delivering reduced fuel consumption and a cost savings over its glass predecessor, says Societe de Vin Internationale. Air Transat charter airline in Montreal, one of Canada’s largest charter airlines, adopted the use of the lightweight 1-L PET wine bottle for sustainability advantages, according to Aldo Geloso, an executive with Societe de Vin Internationale. “We introduced the concept, and they quickly came onboard because of a vital need to reduce weight on their aircraft and consequently reduce fuel costs,” he explains. In addition, Air Transat reports that the wine container has been well received by air travelers and will be expanded into full-service use, according to Geloso.The 54-g PET stock bottle is one-eighth the weight of the previous 430-g glass container. It is used for Societe de Vin Internationale’s 1-L Claret wine format for its Costabella, Viejos Robles, Massaria, and Bergerie du Loup wine brands. Barrier coating is recyclable The 1-L bottle is also a first in this format for Amcor, which previously developed smaller 187- and 750-mL PET containers. The container uses a barrier coating technology developed by Germany’s KHS Plasmax GmbH. The KHS Plasmax® silicon oxide (SiOx) barrier, which seals the container from the inside to protect the contents from oxidation, is an FDA-compliant enhanced passive barrier for oxygen-sensitive products. This ultra-thin (less than 100-nm) material is transparent and resists cracking, abrasion, and delamination. Moreover, it doesn’t degrade over time nor limit the storage time for empty bottles. The barrier coating is easily removed during the recycling process and does not contaminate the recycling stream. Says Amcor sales manager Kerry Drewry, “This is an important development because it expands the market potential for barrier PET wine containers. We expect continued growth for barrier PET bottles in a range of sizes for wine.”
Geloso says that in addition to meeting the airline’s sustainability needs, the new package also offers a glass-like option with no breakage and a similar shelf life. “At the end of the day, it’s still the same high-quality wine product that is now easy to transport and very convenient for the consumer,” Geloso remarks.
Retail launch expected later this year
Based on the early success of the package for Air Transat, Societe de Vin Internationale is considering a retail launch later this year in Quebec grocery stores. On the retail side, lightweight PET significantly reduces freight costs and enables manufacturers to reduce their environmental footprint by cutting the amount of packaging, thus reducing the volume of waste being sent to landfills.
Geloso said the company will target other airlines while also considering barrier PET bottles for other products such as cider in smaller sizes like 330 and 500 mL.
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