Paper wine bottle can cut carbon footprint by 84%, says Frugalpac

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Italian winery Cantina Goccia debutes the recycled paperboard bottle this month. Pic:Frugalpac
Italian winery Cantina Goccia debutes the recycled paperboard bottle this month. Pic:Frugalpac

Related tags Wine Sustainability Packaging

Frugal Bottle – a new bottle made from 94% recycled paperboard – believes it can shake up the wine and spirits category by challenging the traditional dependence on glass bottles.

Its key selling point is sustainability: the Frugal Bottle has a carbon footprint that is up to 84% lower than a glass bottle; a water footprint four times lower than glass; and each bottle is up to five times lighter than glass.

The Frugal Bottle is making its debut on shelves in the UK this month with a wine from Italian vineyard Cantina Goccia: while the packaging is soon to launch with products in Denmark and Holland as well.

The potential of recycled paperboard: from wine bottles to coffee cups

While the wine and spirits category has seen other packaging formats such as bag-in-box and cans creep into the packaging mix in recent years, glass bottles are still very much the dominate packaging format.

But Frugalpac – a British company which is devoted to developing a range of innovative sustainable packaging products using recycled paper-based products – believes it can challenge that.

The 75cl Frugal Bottle is made from 94% recycled paperboard with a food grade liner to hold the wine or spirit. It is ‘comparable in cost’ to a labelled glass bottle; and can be refrigerated.

According to Frugalpac, the Frugal Bottle has six key advantages:

  • The Frugal Bottle weighs 83g - around five times lighter than a normal glass bottle. This makes it easier to carry and lighter to transport.
  • Its carbon footprint is up to six times (84%) lower than a glass bottle and more than a third less than a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. The water footprint is also at least four times lower than glass. These figures come from an independent Life Cycle Analysis carried out by Intertek (more detailed figures can be found at the end of this article).
  • The bottle can be recycled by separating the plastic food-grade liner from the paper bottle and put them in respective recycling bins. Alternatively, the whole bottle can be put in the paper recycling bin and the liner will be separated in the paper re-pulping process.
  • It uses less plastic than a plastic bottle. The Frugal Bottle uses up to 77% less plastic: coming in at 15g compared to a 64g bottle made from 100% recycled plastic.
  • Recycled paperboard allows for 360-degree branding across the bottle.
  • The Frugal Bottle can be produced by wine and spirit producers at their bottling facility, offers freedom on design and print, is more cost effective to transport with a reduced carbon footprint.

Working out of its engineering innovation centre in Ipswich, Frugalpac has already launched the Frugal Cup: the world’s only recyclable coffee cup made from recycled paper. This is currently being used in independent coffee shops across the UK, including institutions such as the London School of Economics. 

All its products are made from at least 90% recycled paper, and the company sees the potential to keep expanding its range: it is due to launch a range of other products including a Frugal Pot for products such as a noodles, porridge, yoghurt and ice cream.

First-on-shelf: Cantina Goccia

frugal inset

Cantina Goccia – an Italian winery based in Umbria – is using the Frugal Bottle with its 3Q brand: un unwooded Sangiovese red with a hint of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Owner Ceri Parke believes the new bottle can be a ‘game-changer’ for the wine industry: taking it in a more sustainable direction.

“For us, the Frugal Bottle is about achieving a considerably more sustainable form of packaging for an industry crying out for innovation,"​ said Parke. "It will help us decarbonise the drinks industry.

“When some of our top hotel customers saw samples of our paper wine bottle, there was no hesitation in their minds that this type of bottle would be well received in their dining rooms.

"The launch of the Frugal Bottle is a big leap in sustainability without compromising wine quality. It’s much lighter than glass, easier to transport and friendlier to the planet. Just as important, our wine still tastes as wonderful in a paper bottle as it does in glass.”

The Cantina Goccia Frugal Bottle will initially be available to buy online from the winery online and in Scotland from Woodwinters Wines & Whiskies.

Frugalpac says the bottle is also being considered by a number UK supermarket chains and hospitality groups keen to promote sustainable packaging: and will be available from other retail outlets across the UK, in Denmark, and Holland over the next few weeks.

Frugal Bottle: LCA

An independent Life Cycle Analysis carried out by Intertek to compare the Frugal Bottle to glass and PET. It looked the ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle of all bottles, including mineral extraction, manufacture, transportation, distribution, filling and recycling or incineration.

It found that:

  • The Frugal Bottle has the lowest carbon footprint with 91.9g CO2e – 84% lower than a 440g imported glass bottle (558.2g CO2e) and 34% lower than a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic (138.6 g CO2e)
  • The Frugal Bottle’s carbon footprint was four times less than a 345g lightweight glass bottle made in the UK (382g CO2e)
  • The Frugal Bottle’s water footprint is ‘at least four times lower’ than a glass bottle. It takes 2.5 litres of water to make a lightweight 345g glass bottle made in the UK, compared to 0.6 litres to make a Frugal Bottle

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