Australia is on the verge of becoming a major user of lightweight wine bottles.
Global glass container giant O-I has started production of lightweight bottles at its Adelaide plant which makes about 65% of the estimated 1.1bn glass bottles used by the wine industry each year.
One bottling line, which produces about 20% of the plant’s output, is now making lightweight bottles and another two are to be commissioned by the end of the year bringing the output to about 50% of the plant’s capacity.
The plant is using new ‘narrow neck press and blow’ technology which has allowed it to become the first of O-Is wine bottle plants globally to make glass wine bottles which retain conventional wine bottle shapes.
Greg Ridder, O-I’s Asia Pacific president said the bottles weighed between 18 and 28% less than conventional bottles.
Constellation Wines Australia is using the bottles for its Banrock Station brand domestically and a Pernod Ricard Pacific spokesperson said that it was investigating using the bottles for all its wines, including the 8 million-cases-a-year Jacob’s Creek range.
O-I will display the new bottles at the Wine Australia stand at the London International Wine Trade Fair this week.
Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide