Good ideas sometimes come out of necessity. It's unfortunate that ecologically sound practices often arise from grave situations, but at the same time, we must recognize the situation we are in. With the UK set to run out of landfill space over the next seven years, companies are being forced to rethink how products are packaged. With that daunting thought in mind, Greenbottle is launching a first: the paper wine bottle.
With tetra paks slowly gaining acceptance as a smart alternative to heavy glass bottles, the paper wine bottle may require a challenging leap forward. Let's be honest: wine tastes better being poured out of a glass container. Most anything does—water is infinitely more satisfying when bottled as such, with none of the plastic residual taste. In this situation, however, there are more important considerations. A country with a population of roughly 60 million people is about to have nowhere to toss its garbage.
Greenbottle is currently in its testing phase of the world's first paper milk bottle, which is being met with success. Wine is different, a fact that company executives are fully aware of. There is not much of an environmental pull for the predominant audience in that industry. Still, weighing 10% of a traditional glass bottle with only 10% of its ecological footprint, Greenbottle hopes that its latest innovation—purposefully shaped as a regular wine bottle—will win over hearts, not to mention taste buds. Considering that the bottle decomposes within weeks, there is plenty to be attracted to.
With a patent on the bottling production technology itself, Greenbottle hopes to sell off machines and training to individual producers and vineyards. The challenge in this very old and somewhat stuffy industry will be great. But the reality that people (in the UK at least) won't have a choice much longer may help shift consumer consciousness.
Stay in touch with Derek on Twitter: @derekberes
Image: Wine Glass in Focus II