Glass v. plastic wine bottles – sustainability, portability, and sticky consumer perceptions
The article that started the conversation: https://www.packagingdive.com/news/rpet-wine-bottle-amcor-plastic-ron-rubin-CO2-emissions/688809/
-- “Move over, glass: Amcor’s new wine bottle is 100% recycled PET”
Plastic wine bottles have a market presence in several major wine markets in Europe and elsewhere. The US has remained stubbornly resistant to wine that isn't in a glass bottle - bag-in-box and cans and such are here, but not to the extent they're seen elsewhere.
I'm doing what I can - I did buy BIB wine on my way home yesterday.
But is that because they've only been offered cheaper table wine in plastic bottles? If major high-end wine makers went plastic, would that change perceptions?
They want to do more e-commerce shipments and plastic is definitely better suited to e-commerce than glass.
Also what if people are shopping online and they don't even see that it is in a plastic bottle until it arrives (or is picked up curb-side)… will they care or is it just something still important to in-store shoppers who are looking at the shelf and are thinking more visually than any other type of shopper?
Maybe. Bag-in-box got sort of a lousy rep because - for a long time - only low end wine was all that was available. It's not really true anymore, but the packaging format still playing catch-up.
What about product degradation? Isn’t that a roadblock still to adoption of plastic on the wine maker side?
Contrary to some consumer perception, sommeliers say that few wines are improved beyond 18 months and even fewer beyond 5 years.
While the stuff in fancy people's cellars will probably be glass (with a natural cork), most everyday wine - even higher-end wines that aren't intended for the cellar – would be fine.
Many top California wineries have moved to screwcaps because they work better for wines meant to be drunk young.
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