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Why Wineries Are Turning to Plastic Bottles

Updated on July 28, 2011

Though aged wine remains popular, over 95 % of wine produced today is designed to be consumed immediately after purchase. With increasing energy costs, many wineries are turning to less expensive and more environmentally sensitive bottling options including the use of plastic bottles. This new bottling practice is part of a wider industry trend towards more lightweight, eco-friendly packaging that reduces shipping costs and ultimately and ideally spells lower prices for the consumer. In addition to the ecological and cost-saving benefits, wineries can choose from a variety of creative wine bottle designs and labeling options. With highly recyclable PET plastic, these bottles are becoming even more attractive to wineries. Here are some reasons why wineries are turning to plastic.

Wine plastic bottle

Changing Materials

Typically, plastic bottles are created in a process where plastic raw materials including granules and powder are run through plastic extrusion machinery that molds the plastic to a uniform thickness and shape. The addition of PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), a plastic resin and polymer, provides greater strength and resilience than other forms of plastic. Other advantages of PET plastic bottles for wineries include:

· Inexpensive to produce

· Lightweight-Shipping weight of plastic bottles is over 30% lighter than for glass bottles

· Ecological-PET Plastic bottles use fewer resources and reduce pollution

· Shatter- resistant –PET is virtually unbreakable, ensuring easier and safer transport than glass

· 100% recyclable- PET plastic can be reused to make a variety of new products from automotive parts to fabric

Creative Wine Bottle Design and Labeling

PET Plastic bottles allow for a wide range of designs. Bottles can have a highly unique form or be designed to look almost exactly like their glass counterparts. The 750ml plastic bottle contains less content and, as a result, is somewhat smaller than the glass bottle of the same size. The plastic bottle also lends itself to creative label options including hot stamp foil, screen printing, in-mold and shrink labeling.

The Future of Plastic wine bottles

It is too soon to say how the market will respond to plastic wine bottles. Plastic does have its limitations. There have been some concerns that alcohol in wine might cause certain plastic additives to ‘leech’ out of the plastic. Current research reveals little evidence for leeching and most authorities consider PET plastic bottles safe. One caveat: plastic bottles are not recommended for a shelf-life of more than 3 to 5 years.

Do you prefer plastic bottle or regular bottle for your wine?

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    • Kezber profile image

      Kezber 6 years ago from Montreal, Canada

      Thanks for your comment faubel. Rising petroleum costs have definitely narrowed the price advantage gap. In some cases, as you point out, glass may now be a less expensive option. The weaker U.S. Dollar, increased shipping costs and the quality of the glass used can also be factors.

    • faubel profile image

      faubel 6 years ago from Miami

      I beg to differ with the assertion that plastic (PET) bottles are "inexpensive to produce". In fact, glass bottles are cheaper than PET bottles! I work closely with a bonded winery that uses both materials and plastic bottle prices have nearly doubled over the last 3 years - this in dollar terms due to the increase in petroleum prices and the greenback's diminished purchasing power.

    • Kezber profile image

      Kezber 6 years ago from Montreal, Canada

      I totally agree with you, when you are walking bare-foot, plastic bottle are much more usefull!

    • profile image

      Barry Geoghegan 6 years ago

      As someone with a vested interest in MLP , the other point worth mentioning is that plastic wine bottles have major useage advantages over glass. Glass is often prohibited from Pool areas,Beach ,Sports stadia, music festivals. Pet or Multi layered pet (MLP) is also ideal for boating,hiking ,picnics and Barbeques.In reality all the informal occasions when wine is consumed .It therefore increases the opportunity to consume wine and does not compete with the fine dining wine experience.....its a different counsumer .