Archive for July, 2013

Glass Bottles Get Even Lighter!

Posted on:


Did you know that current glass packaging is around 40% lighter than it used to be? Lightweighting of glass bottles and jars is an important strategy adopted by the glass industry and brands worldwide to ensure a lighter carbon footprint for glass. For example, Belu, the UK’s ethical bottled water brand, has collaborated with glass packaging specialist Rawlings to produce the lightest weight glass bottle for mineral water in the UK. This new bottle will help the hospitality sector make an important reduction in carbon emissions, while using less raw materials in the process – a win-win for all.


Fast facts:

- Belu’s new lightweight bottle saves 850,000kg of glass annually – equivalent to 2.1m wine bottles

- The new bottle is trademarked ‘Ethical Glass’ and is 18% lighter than the original bottle

- Belu will reduce its carbon emissions by 11% with the new bottle – equivalent to carbon associated with 7,000 nights in an average-sized UK hotel.



Malibu’s glass bottle has also been given a new lighter weight bottle. Glass manufacturer Ardagh used  advanced design technologies to achieve best in class weights of  450g for the 70cl version and 455g for the 75cl whilst retaining all the design features of the bottle. A new clear window around the bottom of the bottle is intended to maximise shelf-appeal by highlighting the fresh, clear spirit.


Beer bottles are getting lighter too! Ardagh also has produced a new lighter weight 660ml bottle for Innis & Gunn’s Original and Rum Finish beers. Moving to lower weight glass bottles will considerably lessen the brewer’s environmental impact. The combined weight reduction – the 330ml bottle now weighs 195g, down from the current 245g – will represent a saving of 2,000 metric tonnes of CO2 over the next three years.



Cheers to Belu, Innis & Gunn’s Original and Malibu from Friends of Glass!


How innovation in glass manufacturing is turning green even greener

Posted on:


When you pick up a glass bottle, you are holding 5,000 years of history in your hand. Glass was used as a reliable packaging option by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and right through Renaissance Europe to the present day.


The reason glass has survived so many millennia, and big businesses still use it today, is that it has several unique benefits:


1. It is 100% natural – made from the age-old combination of sand, soda ash and limestone.
2. It is an inert material that does not react with the food and drink it carries, and is able to preserve taste and vitamins without any chemicals.
3. Finally, when a glass bottle reaches the end of its life, it is 100% recyclable – it is melted down into what is known as cullet and used to produce more glass products.


But just like all other industries that consume natural materials, glass manufacturers want to make their products as environmentally sound as possible – even when they start at such an advanced point as glass.


The process of making glass bottles lighter – thus reducing the energy required to produce and transport them – has been a very important innovation in recent years. Current glass packaging is around 50% lighter than it used to be. Boundaries are still being pushed to create more sustainable glass bottles in this way – the lightest weight glass bottle available in the mineral water industry has just been released by Rawlings and Belu mineral water (trademarked Ethical Glass).


As a direct result of this improved product, Belu will save 850,000 kg of glass per year (equivalent to 2.1m wine bottles) and reduce its carbon emissions by a further 11%.


An alternative approach to make the glass (literally) greener, is to utilise the abundance of green glass we have. As net importers of wine, the UK in particular has a lot of green glass available. According to a study conducted by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), switching from clear glass to green cuts packaging-related CO2 emissions by 20%. This is due to the higher recycled content in green glass bottles, which is as much as 72.4%, against an industry standard of 28.9%.


Unfortunately within the recycling industry, as colours of glass must be separated, a lot of recycled glass ends up in asphalt production, rather than as new glass products. For example, many restaurants have no formal scheme to collect and recycle their glass, resulting in unnecessary amounts being thrown away. Putting a scheme in place to rectify this will however hinge on a co-ordinated approach between local government authorities to bring efficiencies to the system – often a real sticking point.


Investment in the infrastructure to collect, sort and distribute cullet to the manufacturers is the most obvious effort required to scale up the sustainability of the glass industry. Did you know that Cullet has a much lower melting temperature than its original constituents and therefore requires around 40% less energy to create the molten glass that forms the containers?


The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the British soft drinks industry are currently developing a roadmap to help the sector reduce its environmental impact. This is exactly the kind of collaboration between government and business that the glass industry should welcome, to ensure that the future of glass is green.


Tom Wood is the managing director of glass packaging specialist Rawlings. David Balhuizen is the head of operations at ethical mineral water company Belu.


Read the full article on  Guardian Professional.

Luxury Foods and Beverages Take Glass Packaging in New Directions

Posted on:


Glass may be one of the original food and beverage packaging materials, but the latest crop of glass jars and bottles is anything but old school. Driving the creative excitement is a new focus on unusual shapes, particularly for gourmet and luxury products.


One great example is the new Callegari Olive Oil bottle, which is in the shape and colour of a drop of olive oil. The company chose glass to convey elegance and to provide functionality.


“Olive oil is not often brought to the table in its original package. Gourmet audiences usually use fancy oil dispensers. Callegari is a premium olive oil, and we wanted to honour its quality by turning its packaging into a statement” says Patricia Ebner, brand design director at Pereira & O’Dell.



Gourmet honey brands also continue to choose glass packaging, to convey quality and purity as well as for product protection. Imperial Yucatán Honey, uses a distinctive rectangle shaped jar for its 100 per cent pure, raw honey. The unique design of the jar complements the artisanal quality of the product and lets the rich colour of the honey speak for itself.


“The inspiration was to create a vessel for this incredible honey that was more perfume- or cosmetic-like,” says Mixed Business Group creative director Marc Balet. “I was looking to make it more of a fashion statement than just another plastic squeeze bottle. That did not fit the product’s intent.”



Luxury and quality also are the themes for AnestasiA Vodka, as the brand’s attention-grabbing design illustrates. The bottle is sculptural and angular, more closely resembling a décor item than a liquor container.


“The vodka is premium. It is five-times filtered. It’s a superior-quality product and a luxuriously smooth product as well. We wanted the packaging to represent luxury and innovation but without necessarily being gimmicky or having diamonds all over it” says Yuliya Mamontova-Calian, CEO and co-founder of NUMbrands Inc.



There is probably no surprise that wine brands continue to choose glass for their new products. The Vini Exceptional Wine by the Glass, uses a custom-designed glass tube as the bottle for its high-end, single-serving wines.


“It’s made with a very lightweight, seamless glass,” says Sunny Fraser, CEO and founder of The Vini, noting the package’s “elegant appeal”. Though tall and narrow, the tubes can stand on their own.



H.J. Heinz Co.chose a glass jar for a new line of gourmet ketchups that it introduced recently in Europe. The 300g jar, which echoes the styling of Heinz’s iconic glass bottle, features embossed details and is decorated with a full-body shrink sleeve. The packaging’s good looks make it suitable for table use, and its large mouth makes spooning out the product easy.


You Can Leave Your Cap On!

Posted on:


Did you know that the metal caps on bottles can be successfully extracted during the glass recycling process? New research by Alupro (the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation) revealed that approximately 5,000 tonnes of aluminium from caps and closures could be recovered. At today’s raw material prices that’s over a jaw-dropping £2 million worth of aluminium that could be diverted from landfill.


To help capture this precious material, a new campaign by Sevenoaks District Council  in partnership with Alupro and British Glass has been launched to encourage recyclers in the Sevenoaks area to screw the caps back on their bottles before recycling.


The “You Can Leave Your Cap On” initiative – the first of its kind in the UK – has been designed to encourage households to screw the tops back on empty glass bottles – such as wine, spirits and olive oil – before placing them out to recycle through local bring banks or kerbside recycling containers.


Rick Hindley, Executive Director, Alupro said: “The market for aluminium bottle closures is growing rapidly, particularly for wine bottles, so it is important that the consumer gets in the habit of recycling them so that the aluminium can be captured for reprocessing. The message to the public is simple; screwing the top back on the empty bottle before recycling is the easiest way for people to do their bit to recycle this valuable material.”


Rebecca Cocking, Head of Container Affairs at British Glass, who are part-funding the Alupro campaign in association with the EAFA Closures Group, said: “We see this as an excellent campaign that both informs and helps the consumer to recycle as much as possible. It also highlights the important role bring banks play in getting good quality glass back into the system, helping saving energy and raw materials.”