Monday, January 12, 2009

Wine in aluminium bottles good for the Environment?

Brightlite aluminium wine bottleJMB Beverages Pty Ltd has been marketing wine in Brightlite aluminium bottles. The claimed practical and environmental benefits do not appear to be as solid as those for the Banrock Station Ecomate wine in cardboard Tetra Paks.

The Brightlight bottles are finished in bright aluminium finish, with aluminium screw caps and resemble the fuel bottles used by campers. They hold the same as a wine bottle (750 ml) but are slimmer and lighter than a wine bottle. This would reduce the energy used in transporting the wine. However, aluminium requires a large amount of energy to make and unless the bottles were all recycled, this is likely to exceed the energy saved in transport.

The maker also claims the bottles will cool more quickly than glass bottles, which seems reasonable. But red as well as white wine is offered, which does not need chilling.

I did not find the packaging of wine in this way particularity appealing, it looked like it might contain fuel. The bottles were printed in one colour and the aluminium finish showing through looks industrial. Other wine drinkers seems to agree with me. While one online store had it for $9.99, I found it at less than $4 a bottle.

ps: The poorly design web site for the product can't have helped the marketing. The site makes use of Flash, making it difficult to access. There appeared to be no way to get a low resolution image of one of the bottles.

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