THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF A WINE BOTTLE & WHY WINE ON TAP COULD BE YOUR ETHICAL-DEED FOR THE DAY!
If you want to check out the science behind calculating the carbon footprint of a wine bottle, then grupoARCE are the Spanish company deriving its expertise from doing this for the food sector and electromechanical industry, too! Since Spain is third in global red wine production, their input is invaluable.
The most important learning point is:
Q: Which bit of the production process of the wine bottle- from grape growing to wine making to drinking to throwing away the bottle - is the worst offender? so then we can we use this knowledge to reduce the harm most...
A: the raw material production phase emits the most: i.e. the glass most of all!
Who’s ever thought beyond the good deed-feeling you get when chucking all that smashing glass into the bottle banks? (not possible at the moment with the Bishy Rd recycle station filled to popping its cork stage!)
The grape production bit contributes only 32%, whereas almost half of the total product’s carbon footprint – 46%! – derives from the packaging, visible in the following image:
So what’s an alternative we can look to for balancing out some of the bottles we still know and love?
You can of course enjoy lovely wines-on-tap (AKA “keg wine”), for example, those served courtesy of our very own Mrs Miggins!
The Telegraph published an article only last weekend highlighting the advantages of keg wine:
speed-serving, and not to mention…
the savings! (to customers and business alike)
AND the fact, wine intended for immediate fresh consumption, will taste superior to the oft open-for-a few-days wine bottles we’re used to being served from
For ‘wine-rights’ too, keg-wine pioneer Dan Donohoe (CEO of FreeFlowWines who claim to have saved 5 million bottles from landfill already) points out the horrors bottles in transit can suffer- irreparable damage getting corked, oxidizing, getting cooked! Dan’s guarantee: “That won’t happen in a keg.”
This all may take a bit of assimilation into wine culture, perhaps, as one online respondent commented:
“I am not sure whether the ordinary wine consumer around the world would be willing to accept wine that does not come in glass bottles..”
In my humble opinion, I’m pretty sure CYC will be chuffed enough to relinquish some of their recycling responsibilities don’t you and naturally, the more people that adopt it the more adaptive people’s attitudes become.
Here at Liquid Liberation we’re also looking into the feasibility of selling and delivering container-wine too (5 litres etc.) where you return or refill the containers yourself! The author of the emissions research concludes, with the advice:
Try to buy regional products because it is the distance from the winery to the next harbour and the distance from the destination harbour to the point of sales that requires most energy.
Second: Use a bicycle or public transport for your shopping. In Denmark and Holland they make great “utility” bikes with room for at least four cases of wine – so that’s why mum looks so happy here…
*…now I know what my trailer’s been missing all these years! (although come to think of it I did transport quite a lot of Green Party wine for an event once and the trailer promptly got nicked the next day.. diffusion of good ideas spreads fast!)