|South Africa reduces bottle weight|
|Written by Carol Emmas|
|Friday, 05 February 2010 11:13|
South Africa is lowering the weight of its wine bottles in a move to help reduce the industry's carbon footprint.
Compared with 500 grams for traditional bottles, the new 750ml wine screwcap bottles weighing 350 grams will be available to local wine producers from April - in time for the 2010 harvest.
Chief executive officer of Wines of South Africa, Sue Birch, said: "As we raise our export volumes of mostly bottled wines, we also increase our carbon emissions, so it becomes a delicate balancing act to enhance our sustainability profile while pushing up our output. WoSA is one of the leading champions of the country's efforts to grow, make and market wines in a way that is least harmful to the environment.
"The new 350 gram glass bottles for red and white wines have been designed to accommodate screwcap closures, which account for over 65% of South Africa's wine production. They are scheduled for launch by mid-April, in time for the 2010 harvest."
At the same time, the average weight of bottles sealed with corks had been reduced in weight from 570 grams to 460 grams.
Apart from strengthening South Africa's reputation for environmentally responsible wine production, Birch said the move will also address the demands of leading retailers keen to enhance their sustainability credentials and help multiple grocer chains who are responding to high-profile media and consumer calls for more eco-friendly packaging.