With the green spotlight focusing more and more on packaging and how it impacts the environment, many of us are looking for the products we love in packaging we can feel good about. Packaging designers have been given a whole new licence to innovate, and greenies around the globe have come up with some simple yet effective packaging solutions. To bring you wines that you can enjoy on more than one level, we’ve done some investigation and sourced sustainable materials – the best we could find in the country – to package our range of fair trade organic wines.
Our bottles are made from recycled glass
According to wrap.org.uk, wine bottles contribute almost 500, 000 tonnes of packaging to the household waste stream. To keep our impact on the earth to an absolute minimum, our wine bottles are lightweight and made from recycled content. The bottles we use are the lightest we could find in South Africa, weighing in at only 350 grams. Just four years ago, the average bottle weight was slightly over 500 grams!
These lightweight wine bottles, amplified by the case, are helping us reduce the carbon emissions released into the environment quite significantly, all without us having to compromise on quality and durability.
“The reduction in the weight of the wine bottles will ultimately reduce the carbon emissions created during the transportation and export of wine bottles as lighter bottles would result in a lower fuel consumption.” -engineeringnews.co.za.
Glass recycling is quite fascinating (ok, maybe we’re nerding out a little). Glass can be recycled over and over using a fairly simple process. Did you know that, according to Consol, recycling one glass bottle saves the same energy as burning one 100-watt light bulb for nearly an hour! It would also power a TV for 20 minutes or a computer for 25 minutes. Recycling glass also saves water and natural resources and reduces waste landfill.
For more interesting bits about glass recycling, visit Consol’s site.
Keeping it fresh: why the screw cap?
There are three different types of bottle closures: natural cork, synthetic cork and the screw cap.
It’s a common misconception that cork, even of the synthetic variety, is superior to the screw cap closure. Those of us with lifted pinky fingers and upturned noses might ask, “but how on earth is the age and bottle bouquet supposed to develop without a porous stopper for oxygen to pass through”? For one, this myth has been debunked, and more and more thought leaders in the fiercely opinionated wine world hold the view that screw caps are the perfect closure – no taint, no oxidation, no problem. Secondly, we’ve opted not to go with the cork closure, as the price simply didn’t match up with the quality. Since we have a range of wines that are not preserved with sulphites, this is a major consideration for us.
To keep the screw cap attached to the rim of the bottle, we use Saranex tin liners, the best we can get. To put wine geeks at ease, it’s important to note that compared to other closures, the metal (tin) liner allows the least oxygen into the bottle. This is perfect for our organic wines, as they’re likely to be drunk in the first two to three years after bottling. Saranex liners are also more hygienic and have the best shelf life – they’re guaranteed to last 2 to 3 years, which is another win for our sulphite-free collection.
Read more about our No Sulphur Added wines here: http://www.stellarorganics.com/blog/210.php