In August 2007, Sainsbury PLC, London, England, introduced Sainsbury-labeled New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Australian Rose packaged in 750-mL barrier PET wine bottles. The bottles are manufactured by Amcor PET Packaging UK Ltd. (www.amcor.com), under license from Constar International Inc. (www.constar.net).
The plastic-bottled wines are being trial-tested in select British market. If this successful, Sainsbury plans to roll out additional wine varieties in the PET bottles.
Sainsbury reports that this is the first time PET has been used for traditionally shaped wine bottles in the U.K. The PET-packed wines are bottled in the U.K. by Corby Bottlers PLC (www.corbybottlers.com)
Closely simulating the look of glass, the PET barrier bottles offer shatter-resistance and a favorable 54-g weight, compared to 400 g for a glass bottle of similar size and volume. Additionally, the plastic bottle does not compromise the wine’s flavor.
The PET wine bottle project trial is supported by the government-funded Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP).
It is interesting that, at a time PET water bottles are being scrutinized in the United States for requiring oil for their production and often end up in landfills, WRAP and Sainsbury are undertaking this wine bottle trial to measure the environmental aspects of PET and to evaluate avenues to maximize its recycling potential.