back to article Pass the wine, dear. Yes, that papier-mache thing

Papier-mache is no longer just for primary school art projects: eco-nuts in Suffolk have decided to start packaging wine in the stuff. You could soon be supping a fine Rioja poured from an oblong paper shell lined with a plastic bag, thanks to British start-up GreenBottle. El Reg doubts this sort of thing will be appearing on …

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FAIL

Recycling

Fine, but glass is fairly easily re-cycled around here whereas the council won't touch plastic film, or even tetra packs come to that.

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Unhappy

Glass recycling......

Its not really great for the environment. All they do in most places is grind it up for loft insulation.

The ideal i'm sure would be to re-use bottles, but as it is the glass in a glass bottle is only used once for bottles. After that its glass fibres. Thats still not a avery green used of energy.

At some point all the lofts will be full as well.

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Paris Hilton

I'm the one...

who's stuck on a desert island.

Paris: because there's more than one use for a bottle.

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Vic
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> All they do in most places is grind it up for loft insulation.

Not in the sites I've installed kit in, they don't.

Recycled glass is broken into small cullets which are then remelted to make new glass. This is why the colours need to be separated, and why ceramics and aluminium are major pollutants; if they were just being made into insulation, all that separation wouldn't matter.

> The ideal i'm sure would be to re-use bottles

Probably. But given the potential for liability issues from chipped or inadequately sterilised bottles - or even just the threat of such litigation, even if entirely unfounded - it currently makes no business sense to do that. I hope that situation changes in the future - but given the number of adverts I see for personal injury lawyers, I doubt it will.

Vic.

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re-use bottles

Ah, the good old days ot taking your Barrs glass lemonade and Irn Bru bottles back to the shop to get your deposit back . . . maybe taking up the Norwegian system is what they need to do. Almost ALL soft drinks come in thick, not squishy, plastic bottles, with about 30p deposit on 1.5litle and 15p on 500ml bottles and 330 cans. All supermarkets have automatic machines that use a combination of weight checks and barcode readers to sort the deposit due and print a voucher to redeem at cashout. Not uncommon to see people coming in with mutliple black bags full, and collecting enough to pay for a a few days shopping.

The drinks cans are crushed in the machine and bagged, bottled loaded onto pallet sized racks for large, and crates for the smaller bottles and sent to be cleaned and relabeled and refilled.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Glass recycling.....

Agreed. Standard size is the future. When I am king there will be standard size glass bottles of say 330ml, 500ml, 750ml, in a variety of colours. And if you make a drinkable liquid - it goes in one of these standard bottles. These would be made by companies and sold to food producers to use to bottle their product. These could easily then be returned, cleaned and redestributed back to factories.

Each bottle would not be embellished with any logo or branding so could be reused by any company.

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Vic
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> When I am king there will be standard size glass bottles of say 330ml, 500ml, 750ml

You missed out 568ml...

Vic.

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WTF?

Re: Vic

"Probably. But given the potential for liability issues from chipped or inadequately sterilised bottles - or even just the threat of such litigation, even if entirely unfounded - it currently makes no business sense to do that. "

Tell that to the milkman who collects my empty bottles for re-use twice a week.

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Vic
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> Tell that to the milkman who collects my empty bottles for re-use twice a week.

The milkman doesn't have to deal with big supermarket buying departments...

Vic.

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FAIL

RTFA!

"All you would need to do is rip out the plastic lining and put the paper outer-casing in the bin or on the compost heap"

Did you not notice that bit or were you already composing your "Meh, it won't work!" response by the time you were half way down the article?

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re: the norwegian system...

The deposit is 1NOK(8.6p at todays exchange rates) for 330/500ml cans(and those farkin small cans they sel Red Bull and other poisons in), and for most 500ml glass and plastic bottles.

The 1.5L plastic bottles, some 750ml bottles for water and of course large beer bottles all have a deposit of 2.5NOK(about 21.5p)

The swedes also use a similar system, and even have similar marks on the cans and bottles, but the small(330/500ml) cans there are only worth half as much.

(Less really, as their Krone is less worth... )

It's by no means a large sum, but on the days I ride my scooter to and from work, keeping my eyes open means that it usually pays for the gas...

Black bags? I assume you mean bin liners... ;-)

Yeah, and they usually come in when the store is at its busiest, fill the receiving part of the automat so that it stops and sets of the alert, then get angry when the overworked cashiers won't leave the register(where there are long queues) to empty the machine...

There's no solution so good that someone can't make a problem out of it...

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Ahem

Half Pint,

Pint,

2 Pints.

If you please....

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Pint

@missed out 568ml

Well we'll just have to pad it out to the 750 then. Shame really.

Besides, the big Leffe bottles are 750ml already - blazing a trail for us all.

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WTF?

paper milk bottles!

So that would be exactly the same thing as the tetra-pak cartons of milk that have been around for at least 30 years and I expect probably longer.

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Alert

You don't understand

Because this is a bunch of wool-wearing be-hatted green hippies, The Reg has to get its hate-hour on and say that it's very, very bad.

Because green people never get anything right. You know all that stuff we've been saying about nukes and solar and all of that? It's all completely wrong - because it *just is*.

Always. It has to be, because - er - well, who knows why. But I'd guess someone either Has Issues, or they're being paid to write this stuff.

Which is great and all. But never mind that the glow-in-the-dark hacks on the Reg were crowing that Fukushima was perfectly safe and barely an accident at all - and now even BBC News is admitting that Cesium 137 levels are unsafe for farming over around half of the Japanese land mass.

So does hippie-hating atom-fondling Team Reg feel like moving to Japan now?

No. I'm guessing really not. Not even slightly.

(But I digress.)

Anyway - yes, it's drink in cardboard. No, it's not a new idea. I think one or two people may have seen it before.

And this is, as usual, a pointless and silly green-hate piece of non-journalism with no real purpose or value.

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re: paper milk bottles

Pretty much. Unfortunately for the eco types though TetraPak have a whole mountain of patents covering their waterproof cardboard containers. What I understood from the article was that GreenBottle were simply producing cardboard boxes with sealed plastic bags inside to hold the wine. I'm not a wine drinker myself but I'm pretty damn sure I've seen this sort of thing in Sainsbury's before containing cheap plonk. The only discernible difference I can think of between that and GreenBottle's product is that these new cartons use recycled cardboard (even then I'd be surprised if existing boxes of wine didn't use recycled cardboard to keep costs down).

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It's bloody Greenwashing

The idea has been done before, but here are some folk trying to attach a Green label to it and thus con the Great Unwashed into buying the product.

Apart from anything else, the major environmental impact of wine is in the wine itself. Fiddling with the packaging will never make it Green.

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Trollface

"Cesium 137 levels are unsafe for farming over around half of the Japanese land mass"

LOLWHAT

http://fukushima.grs.de/sites/default/files/Environmental_effect_20111102.pdf

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Mushroom

You're right I don't understand

I presume you are referring to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15691571

Your definition of 'half' if somewhat different to mine...

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I have to wonder...

...what's the carbon footprint of these things compared with, say, something from Tetrapak?

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Devil

Too late

Bag in box already does that. It also keeps wine in better shape once opened because there is no "new" air intake when pouring out so the wine does not oxidize. If you like a glass once in a while it is definitely a better choice than a bottle because you can drag out the bag (in the box) for a month and will not go bad (especially if it is in a fridge).

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last a month?

Quite a large bag of vin then!

I get 10 litres for 10 euros from a local vineyard in a bag & its never gone off

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FAIL

Umm...

Isn't a glass bottle recyclable? And isn't glass recyclable an infinite number of times compared to paper?

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Vic
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> And isn't glass recyclable an infinite number of times compared to paper?

Glass is comparatively expensive to recycle, as it is melted down and formed into new bottles.

Vic.

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Pint

Wine in cardboard.

Erm, haven't Stowell's of Chelsea been doing that for years?

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Latest twist on "Wine in a box"

Nothing new here, except maybe some greenwash to stop the trendies turning their noses up at it.

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<please recycle this title>

In the 70's weren't the ingenious Dutch delivering milk in 1-litre plastic bags. You popped the bag into a more solid container designed to hold it snuggly and snipped the spout off with scissors. No energy wasted collecting and washing the much heavier glass bottles and plastic is cheaper to recycle than glass any way. AFAIK this was reasonably common in other European countries at the time. I never understood why the Brits shunned the idea. Even now the common plastic milk bottles in use have to have a cap and collar and label. None of that is needed with the bag system, printing is easier as well. Just a thought.

Granted, you do need to have the 'holding' container to hand, so it's not that portable outside the domestic, kitchen, scenario. But one solution might be to achieve rigidity through inflating air sacks around the main container ? Look, if i give it a blow job it stands up on it's own - sort of thing (oops!)

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Anonymous Coward

Same in Canada IIRC

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Vic
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UK too.

> In the 70's weren't the ingenious Dutch delivering milk in 1-litre plastic bags.

Sainsburys had those last time I looked.

Vic.

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I seem to recall from the 70s...

Paul Daniels filling up some wine glasses from a rolled up newspaper.

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Same in India, at least in Bangalore.

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Anonymous Coward

UK too

Also in some parts of the UK (my auntie near Pontifract) also Waitrose had them recently.

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Paris Hilton

Wow, what a novel and groundbreaking idea

I mean, packaging wine inside a plastic bladder, held within a cardboard container. Maybe next they can imagineer a 'jumbo' version that holds 3 standard bottles of wine (to further reduce the carbon footprint per L), and maybe even make it a cuboid shape so it takes up less space on trucks, shelves etc. A box of wine eh; extraordinary!

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Pint

Jumbo?

Standard sizes in France seem to be 5, 10 and 15 litres.

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boxes of wine - high class

We've been able to get boxes of wine here on the left side of the pond for some time. Although they're not the finest they are still drinkable and great for cooking where you may only need a cup of something white. I most recently scored 3 liters/litres of red Spanish wine for about $USD 15 that took up much less space than it would had it been 4 bottles, and the waste when done was almost nothing. In theory since the wine bladder collapses as you drink it there is less chance of exposure to air so it stays fresher and lets you pour a glass at a time.

Vintners sometimes try to stretch the comfort zone of the public, so we'll see some of these advances with juice boxes of good wine, etc. They'll get there eventually.

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Pint

Not seeing why the sneery tone's...

...being adopted. IF this works, and if it doesn't compromise the wine, then why not? Cheaper, easier for the customer, handier for recycling, what's not to like?

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You can already buy cheap wine in 1-litre Tetrapak containers where I live. This "new" technology seems like a step backwards.

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Burn the heretic

"put the paper outer-casing in the bin"

Anyway shouldn't really greenies be making their own wine and thus stopping the global exploitation of French peasants?

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So what's the difference between one of these and a normal wine box then?

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Easy

This is "green" which means they can charge more for it.

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The difference is that this looks and acts like a bottle... including letting air into the wine.

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FAIL

"It would mean an end to those morning-after trips to the bottle bank" [...] and replace it with a much simpler two-trip journey to your closest cardboard recycling facility and a 400 mile motorway journey to somewhere that will recycle film.

The planet thanks you.

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Wine box

Already there - cardboard outer, plastic inner. It works well, and it's just as recyclable. Only downside is that boxed wine tends to be the ropey stuff, not anything that's actually nice to drink, but I guess this will have the same problems too.

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Anonymous Coward

Seems like a good thing

Although possibly not as good as the traditional, reusable (as opposed to recyclable) milk bottle?

Yes, glass is recyclable, but manufacture and recycling are inefficient processes and more energy is used at each recycle. Cardboard comes from a renewable resource and can be composted - natural recycling. The difference between this and a Tetrapak is that the waterproof lining can be separated for recycling/composting of the outer bottle - whereas Tetrapaks have to go to landfill (in my area anyway). So yes, seems similar to a normal wine box, but possibly a different cardboard construction for better composting?

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Erm, unless the new bottles directly replace the old glass ones...

...the gazillions of £/€/$ about to be spent on re-fitting bottling plants and the concomitant gazuillions of kilos of CO2 thus generated will help how?

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Anonymous Coward

What we need...

... is a way to encourage people to hand the bottles back to the shops for recycling. Maybe, for each bottle sold, a small charge can be applied. We'll call this a "deposit". when they hand the bottle back, the "deposit" will be handed back.

Joking aside, why don't people do this in the UK anymore? Why did the producers move over to plastic bottles?

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Why don't they do this any more...

I understand, as a fellow commentator above alludes to, that the issue is one of branding. When you are buying your "beverage experience" the bottle's branding must match the drink. So bottles have particular shapes and swirls on them. That way you will not mistake brand A for brand B because the bottle would be the wrong shape. This is obvious on, say, gin bottles. Of course many people could just use an arcane skill called "reading the label" to see what the contents are. Due to all these bottles it is, apparently, not cost effective to sort out which one goes back to which producer, it's just easier to smash them up and melt them down.

The chap/chapess above has it right. Everything should go into a "one size fits all" affair. I would change the theory a bit, so you'd have brown bottles for beer (I think that helps stop light damage the contents), green for wine (including fortified), clear for spirits, and a different shaped clear for soft drinks. You use the bottles the Government says (hell, do it from Europe so the whole darn continent has to abide by it), or you do not sell your product here. Each bottle has a 50p or £1 deposit on, and is rinsed and reused, not smashed and melted.

Not only is it greener, but you'd get kids actively collecting bottles from the hedges rather than dumping them there. And rioters might think "oh darn, I say, that's £1 I am about to lose" before making a Molotov. Okay, the last one is a flight of fancy.

When I was a kid there was this really nice chap who used to deliver milk in bottles to all the houses. In return we would give him money and empty bottles which he would take back to the dairy. There they would be washed and rinsed and refilled with nice new milk. What's more he had an electric vehicle that was charged overnight on the cheap rate electricity.

And we call this nonsense ecological progress?

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Please!!!

Won't somebody think of the cork sellers?

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That 'fine Rioja', if bottled in Spain, still comes in a bottle with a cork, as the cork is compulsory according to Spanish law.

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Childcatcher

Funnily enough...cork is eco-friendly and composts...

But don't take my word for it...

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cork_oak/

"These [cork oak] forests provide a vital source of income for thousands of people and they support one of the world’s highest levels of forest biodiversity, "

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