Paper bottle will 'change the way people think about wine'

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

PaperBoy wine packaging consists of a recycled-content paper-based bottle with a plastic liner inside.
PaperBoy wine packaging consists of a recycled-content paper-based bottle with a plastic liner inside.

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A partnership between a winery and packaging creatives has launched a paper-based bottle to quench the thirst of sustainability-minded drinkers.

Truett Hurst’s PaperBoy wines build upon the bag-in-box concept by pouring premium libations into a paper-based, bottle-shaped container, with a liner tucked inside holding the liquid. Because the bottle replaces glass with a paper-based container, the packaging offers sustainability and convenience advantages over glass.

Stand-out shelf appeal

Situated in the heart of California wine country, Truett Hurst offers a range of premium wine products. Jim Bielenberg, CFO of Truett Hurst told the company joined forces with winery Virginia Marie Lambrix on PaperBoy with the intention to create a stand-out product.

The partnership wants to change the way people think about wine by responding to lifestyle choices​,” he said. “The concept of PaperBoy appeals to eco-conscious wine lovers on the go​.”

Sustainable sipping

The package’s sustainability profile starts with the molded outer shell, which consists of recycled corrugated waste. The thin plastic liner, screw-cap closure, adhesive label and inks all are UV-based and contained no VOCs.

With recycled content at 80%, Bielenberg said, carbon footprint is cut 67% compared to glass bottles. Additionally, he said, the transportation footprint is 18% more efficient than with glass bottles.

Edge over glass

Bielenberg told FPD that in addition to offering sustainability benefits, the PaperBoy bottle appeals by offering various benefits over glass bottles.

Much of of PaperBoy’s appeal is that it is easily transportable to occasions where wine has never been a part of the experience, i.e. cycling, backpacking, fishing, anywhere outdoors​,” he said. “It is 85% lighter than a standard glass bottle, keeps cooler longer, and reduces air contact to the bottle, so once it is opened retains its freshness longer​.”

Bielenberg pointed out that cardboard and paper recovery typically is higher than glass rates—91%, compared to glass at 28%. Additionally, the lighter weight of the paper-based bottle makes a difference in transportation sustainability.

If all wine shipped annually in the U.S. (207.7 million cases) was packaged in the PaperBoy bottle, approximate savings of 50.8m gallons of diesel and 560,000 tons of CO2 would be realized​,” he said.

Improvement over bag-in-box

Additionally, Bielenberg said, the PaperBoy molded bottle improves upon the bag-in-box concept in a few key ways.

Bag-in-the-box was developed for practicality and not for eco-responsible reasons​,” he said. “Also, bag in the box wines have not been of the highest quality; our wines are sourced by our winemaker and blended for quality​.”

Brand creation

Truett Hurst’s chief package designer Kevin Shaw (also founder of UK-based design outfit Stranger & Stranger) was inspired by Green Bottle’s paper bottle, originally used for milk. Shaw connected with the Green Bottle team and bounced the idea of using the package for wines.

Kevin designed the branding art and contributed the name​,” Bielenberg said. “In his words, ‘It was important that the name was iconic to own the medium, and the branding was bright, strong and fearless​.’”

Truett Hurst launched the first two 750-mL PaperBoy wines exclusively at US supermarket Safeway; a 2012 Paso Robles Red Blend at $14.99 and a 2012 Mendocino Chardonnay at $13.99 are already on the shelves. In December, the wines will spread to retailers across the States.

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1 comment

Greenwashing sham

Posted by Steve S,

This shouldn't be compared with glass at all. It is cleverly marketed bag in box (BIB). Without the clean dis-assembly of a BIB. The package is not recyclable without the consumer ripping out the liner (it doesn't come out simply or easily). There are numerous green issues with pulpboard none of which have been addressed. I didn't check when looking a the box in Safeway but is it even manufactured onshore? Of course it has all the BIB issues with short shelf life.
There are no obvious differences in the technology between this and BIB so any claims of differing performance (less air contact??) should be scrutinized carefully.

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