Wine in Plastic vs. Glass – Another New Wine Debate!

Posted on by Kris

Plastic wine bottles...flexible!


A plastic bottle has around 1/8th the weight of a glass bottle, therefore making transport more efficient. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you’re transporting wines from New Zealand to the U.S., that can mean a considerable amount of fuel saved overall.



Since the walls of the bottle are thinner, the white wines typically chill much faster. This is a BIG advantage, for me at least…but I’m inpatient anyway…



Plastic doesn’t, glass does; break that is. Obviously, this makes them easier to handle and transport. More importantly though, it also means you can take your wine “pool-side”!



Plastic wine bottles typically produce around 29% less greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the entire lifecycle of the product compared to a 750ml glass bottle. Plastic bottles are arguably more recyclable, but the question remains about the “real world” recyclability of plastics. Just because it’s recyclable, doesn’t mean that it will be! However, that’s another even more boring debate, which I definitely won’t be getting into here. You’re welcome!


Compromising Quality

There is no debate about it, plastic allows more oxygen through the bottle than glass, thus the wine will lose its shelf-life quicker. Australia producer Wolf Blass experimented with plastic in 2009 for its Green Label range, and gave wines a max shelf-life of 12 months.


Health Implications

I’m not going to lie; using too much plastic in our everyday lives scares me, it always has. Heavy use of plastic in food packaging has always been a controversial issue for consumers, and to put the mind of the consumer at ease is going to take a lot more research (and marketing $’s). There are some manufacturers making BPA free bottles, though.


They Look Cheap and Nasty

Ok, maybe I could have phrased that one ever-so-slightly more eloquently; but consumers are no doubt going to have a hard time being convinced of the value of wine in a plastic bottle. Would you buy a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild if it was in plastic? Also, convincing them on the virtues of the humble plastic bottle based primarily on its positive environmental impact won’t be easy! I think a lot of people care about the environment (in their minds at least), but when it comes down to it, I’m not so sure if they’ll put their money where their mouth is.



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