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Robert Harson
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A recyclable plastic bottle for wine with a metal twist-off cap is available in Austria's food retail sector for the first time. The Wegenstein winery, which belongs to the Rewe Group (24 million bottles per year), worked with the plastic packaging specialist Alpla for almost two years on technical solutions until the bottle met the aesthetic and wine storage-specific requirements. It weighs just 50 grams, which is 330 grams less than an equivalent glass bottle, as Wegenstein Quality Manager Christoph Fingerlos (pictured left) emphasises: "With a six-bottle carton, that means almost two kilograms less weight. As a result, the carbon footprint is 171 grams of CO2 lower compared to a disposable wine glass bottle with the same filling quantity, which corresponds to a reduction of 38 per cent. If recycled PET bottles are used, the reduction is even up to 50 per cent. In addition, the smaller diameter of the bottles means that more bottles can be transported per pallet. A one-way deposit system for PET bottles will be introduced in Austria from January 2025. The deposit will be 25 cents.

As Alpla project manager Sebastian Rosenberger (pictured right) explains, the bottle has been perfectly adapted to the filling and transport processes and is compatible with the existing filling systems. The plastic packaging fulfils all quality requirements, is available as a transparent or green bottle and is suitable for all types of wine. As a result, several other wine producers have already expressed their interest.

Wegenstein Managing Director Herbert Toifl (centre) speaks of predominantly positive customer reactions to the bottles of the "Heuriger" brand wine that have been delivered to supermarkets for several weeks now: "If customers accept it, we will successively switch other products from glass to PET".

(al / Source: Press release)

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