Archive for September, 2012

Consumers agree that Glass adds Class

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We were interested to learn that the recent findings published in the Food Quality and Preference journal showed consumers believe that wine is better quality if it’s packaged in heavier bottles.


Asked to what extent, on a scale of one to nine, they agreed with the statement that heavier wine bottles were higher quality, shoppers scored an average 6.6.


Of course glass wine packaging, as well as adding a touch of elegance to a wine bottle, is inert and so also fully preserves the original taste of wine as it doesn’t interact with what it holds and is the best protector of flavour.


But it’s not just style and taste that counts, environmental performance does too. Friends of Glass believe it’s important to remember recyclability and raw material extraction and not simply weight when evaluating the carbon footprint of any packaging material.


We were encouraged to see an article published in Packaging news last week that called for action on ‘rightweight’ and not ‘lightweight’ packaging. It made the point that the European packaging industry must ‘rightweight’ and not compromise on quality design in the single-minded  pursuit of lighter packaging.


Linpac Packaging business manager Erwan Cadoret said that: “In today’s market, packaging manufacturers and suppliers are under extreme pressure to produce products which tick all the boxes in terms of cost, weight, quality, efficiency and performance.


“It is essential that we respond to our customers and adapt the way we operate to meet those demands, yet it is fundamental that we do not compromise on efficiency and quality in doing so as the consequences of that are more far reaching.”


We couldn’t agree more. Glass packaging is already on average 40% lighter than ever before so let’s focus on getting the packaging right for the job. And when it comes to wine – that’s got to be glass!






M&S launch the high street’s first 100 per cent recycled vase!

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Friends of Glass is delighted to see that Marks and Spencer has launched its latest ‘closed loop’ product – a 100 per cent recycled glass vase. M&S said the vase is the first 100 per cent recycled glass vase to be available on the high street.


It has been made from bottles consumers have taken to the recycling bank, thereby reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. On average, 1,000 recycled bottles correspond to one tonne less of waste going to landfill.

The recycled glass vase marks the latest initiative in M&S’ plans to become a fully ‘closed loop’ business. Closed loop is a business model where waste material used in the manufacturing process is returned back to that same process for re-use.

“We’re delighted to offer our customers the chance to be part of a big environmental achievement,” M&S packaging specialist Laura Fernandez said about the new vase. “This […] is a taste of things to come as we continually look for innovative ways to offering shoppers more eco-friendly products.”


As well as being made fully from recycled materials, the vase has been produced more energy efficiently than normal glass. Recycled glass is melted at a lower temperature, therefore using 20 per cent less energy. It also uses less water in the production process than standard glass.

The recycled glass vase is retailing in M&S stores at £35.


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Do Consumers Really Want To Break The Tradition Of Serving Wine In A Glass Bottle?

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Last week the article “Tetra Pak Wine gives experts lots to sniff at” was published in the Metro, and it got us thinking, do consumers really want to break the tradition of serving wine in a glass bottle?


According to Raisin Social’s managing director Simon Halliday, Tetra Pak has clear advantages over wine in glass bottles. However, we find the statements he made in the article very misleading.


Mr. Halliday says that Tetra Pak is “easily recycled”; but can it really challenge glass packaging which is 100 per cent recyclable and can be done so over and over again without any loss of quality?


In comparison, Tetra Pak, which consists of three material elements – paper, plastic and aluminium – cannot be ‘closed loop’ recycled in the same way like bottles and jars can. When recycled, glass can be back on the shelf again in less than 30 days. Furthermore, in most cases Tetra Pak cartons must be exported for specialist recycling or incinerated.


Mr. Halliday also says that Tetra Pak is lighter to transport, but we are wondering if he is aware of the fact that the majority of wine bottles are now ‘lightweighted’, becoming up to 40% lighter in recent years.


However, the most puzzling statement from the Metro’s article was that a shift towards Tetra Pak is, “a natural progression towards satisfying consumer demands”.We are curious as to his sources for this claim. According to our independent survey, 82.7% of consumers want to drink white wine which has been preserved in glass, and 74.9% of consumers prefer to have red wine served in glass(British Glass Taste Campaign Research).


We also believe it is important to reiterate the health benefits of glass packaging. Glass is inert so nothing can leach, it doesn’t react chemically with its contents and it offers an excellent barrier to gases. Glass is the only packaging material that fully preserves the original taste of wine, and with glass, wine tastes like wine! What’s more, the superiority of glass has been confirmed by several independent studies* in the past.


We would like to end this post with the quote from wine expert Philip Evins, who is not so keen to break the tradition of ensuringwine tastes as good as it can:


“Glass has proved to be a wonderful container for all types of liquid for a couple of thousands years and long it may continue”.


* A studycarried out by the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV) in Bordeaux, found that the flavour and chemical composition of white wine changed within six months of being packed in single‐ and multi‐layer PET bottles and bag‐in‐box.