By Sun Kim
Posting in Design
From the designer of paper milk bottles, the paper wine bottle is designed to reduce waste and carbon emissions.
A British designer is offering a grown-up step up from wine boxes. Created by Martin Myerscough of Greenbottle, the paper wine bottle is biodegradable and compostable.
Myerscough is also the designer of the first paper milk bottles. His inspiration for both paper packaging designs came from trips to the dump. The designer questions how effective glass recycling actually is at a large scale, saying that the UK are “net importers of wine bottles and it’s not worth shipping the glass back so it ends up here as road aggregate.”
Dimensioned to fit in a normal production line, the Greenbottle paper wine bottle features an inner foil lining, similar to wineboxes, to keep the product fresh and the container dry. Made of a combination of cardboard and ultralight plastic, the packaging is one tenth the weight of a glass bottle and produces ten percent of the carbon footprint of glass. The plastic is designed to easily separate from the paper for separate recycling.
DesignWeek provided an analysis of the design’s potential from a recycling advocacy organization, a wine branding expert, and a sustainability branding expert.
WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme) stated support for any packaging innovations that reduce waste and environmental impact, but the organization was concerned that the mixing of paper and foil can cause problems in composting or recycling.
From a branding perspective, Omar Honigh, a managing partner of Studio Hansa and expert in wine branding, praised the concept, easy function, affordability, timeliness, and marketability. However, Honigh downgraded the paper wine bottle for its papier-mache appearance. In the wine industry especially, packaging is key to establishing branding and consumer recognition.
Samantha Dumont, a creative partner at Dragon Rouge, appreciated the concept and emphasized the need to figure out how to present the unfamiliar product as a premium wine. Dumont traced the branding changes in the wine market from basic, homogeneous labels to more pictorial and graphic as a precedent for a shift in consumer taste.
All experts agreed that the idea is positive and feasible; the challenge lies in convincing buyers—at the commercial and consumer levels—to buy in.
Aesthetically, the bottle is a little rough around the edges, which will make converting wine lovers from glass bottles to paper difficult. In an article for The Guardian, Adam Lechmere, a news editor at Decanter magazine, says
"How wine looks is incredibly important; it's such an arcane business. Consumers don't care so much about whether wine is green or not. It's not like meat or veg. We don't interrogate wine like we do a chicken."
Considering that studies predict the UK will run out of landfill space within seven years, efforts to produce biodegradable packaging and reduce waste will be crucial for both consumers and manufacturers.
Myerscough points out that the decreased weight of the Greenbottle packaging will result in energy and carbon savings during manufacturing and shipping. His ultimate intent is to sell the technology to companies who will manufacture and bottle locally.
The Greenbottle paper milk bottle has been successful in a test run in the Asda chain of groceries in southwestern England and Myerscough is in discussion with a large Yorkshire-based bottle manufacturer for the wine bottle.
Nov 22, 2011
To me, they look great. The paper-mache appearance is a good match for the reduced weight. It's a good idea to change the look of a product that has other "departure" features -- in this case, the significantly reduced weight. Customers will like it much better, if they have that bit of visual forewarning that THIS product is new and different. If it looked TOO much like a glass bottle, the reduced weight might very well have an "uncanny valley" effect on the consumer. Besides, it's beautiful as it is. Only nit: the foil lining. They are right, that it significantly hampers recyclability.
I actually just heard of a farm in upstate NY that realized they met all the rules for organic milk. They stopped selling to the local wholesaler and started competing with the California organic milk being sold in local food stores. With their own bottling plant they were able to sell for their organic milk for $1 less a gallon than the California farm and still make much more money than they did selling to the wholesaler. They recently started doing home delivery close to the farm with recycled bottles. I wish it would come back around here.
In England in the 60s, emptied milk bottles were collected by the milkman who had delivered them full, washed, and re-used by the Dairy that did the milk round. Neat,huh? Why doesn't some wine company collect empties and do the same thing? Most bottles are of similar size
Anyone over 30 can remember the paper cartons that milk came in, some specialty milk products still are in boxes. We used to take th e1/2 gallon boxes and make blocks for th ekids to play with, building blocks, trains, trucks, whatever your imagination suggested you do with it. If you smashed a set (two catons/block) then so what? You could always get more.
So my only question with all these NEW paper products is where is the paper coming from, Tress, is it recycled does anyone know? And if it is recycled how safe is it?
I'll say that IF they were being made of hemp fiber, they could be made for a QUARTER of the cost as from wood (mature hemp industry), and with a total product-from-growth cycle of ONLY a year (compared to at least twenty years for a "new" forest to reach harvest growth). Not only that, but they also would require next to no fertilizers or pesticides, and virtually NO chemical additives to the pulping process. Wood pulping requires COPIOUS chemicals to be added, so that the cellulose fibers will indeed break down far enough to form a good paper -- a drawback that hemp does not have. We HAVE all the ingredients required to make our lives both better, AND sustainable. It is only our level of willful ignorance, that's holding us back.
The paper used is recycled paper and goes through a cleaning and de-inking process to remove possible contaminants.