The Co-operative launch what is believed to be the world's lightest 70cl spirits bottle
As well minimising the amount of glass being used in packaging and ultimately the amount of glass that ends up in landfill, the new bottle, which weighs in at just 298 grams compared to 350 grams, is the first commercially available 70cl bottle to break the 300 gram weight barrier.
The bottle, which sets a new "best in class" standard for the sector, will initially be used for the Co-op's top-selling own-label Scotch whisky later this month, with own-label gin and vodka to follow.
We are delighted to be the first retailer to bring this innovative product to market. This is an important milestone, which marks a new phase in our drive to advance waste minimisation and packaging reduction. We have a series of initiatives underway and our customers can expect to see significant reductions in their packaging over the next five years. Guy McCraken, Chief Executive, Food Retail at The Co-operative Group.
In total, some 400,000 70cl bottles will be switched over by the year end and glass savings made of 20 tonnes per annum. Work is already underway to realise similar reductions in the Co-op's one litre spirits bottles.
The pioneering product was developed by Rockware Glass and later incorporated into the Container Lite Programme - a year-long industry-wide project funded by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to promote a range of lightweight glass containers.
It is not uncommon to find 500g spirits bottles on the market and the spirits industry is one of the UK's biggest consumers of glass packaging, using more than half a million tonnes each year. With off-trade spirits sales continuing to rise, demand for glass packaging is stronger than ever, and WRAP expects this bottle to lead the way in lightweigting across this important industry sector.
WRAP estimates that every year over 1.5 million tonnes of glass still end up in landfill in the UK and that a similar 15% reduction in the weight of the 66 million bottles of spirits sold each year would save 4,000 tonnes of glass per annum.
WRAP project manager, Nicola Jenkin commented:
"The new bottle is a real landmark in packaging design. A sub-300 gram spirits bottle has set a new 'best in class' standard for the sector, so the achievement is very welcome news. The new design proves that it is possible for packaging to be resource-efficient, without compromising performance or consumer appeal. We hope other retailers and brand owners will now follow the Co-op's lead".