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Paper wine bottle launched: What is it like?

A wine bottle made from recycled paperboard has been launched by the Frugalpac company in the UK, and we got hold of a sample to try it out.

The paper wine bottle, known as the ‘Frugal bottle’, has been pitched as a lighter and more environmentally friendly alternative to glass.

At 83g, Frugalpac said its bottle is up to five times lighter than a regular glass wine bottle and that major supermarkets in the UK were ‘actively considering’ the idea.

It added that the overall carbon footprint is up to six times lower than glass bottles, based on analysis by the Intertek group. 

The bottle’s debut is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to shrink the wine industry’s impact on the environment, from recycled plastic bottles to lighter-weight glass and shipping more wine in bulk.

How can a paper wine bottle work?

Frugal bottle is made from 94% recycled paperboard, with a plastic food-grade liner to contain the wine or spirits within, similar in concept to a bag-in-box.

While there is some plastic involved, the company said that its Frugal bottle uses ‘up to 77% less’ than a plastic bottle and that the plastic lining is recyclable.

There is ’15g compared to a 64g bottle made from 100% recycled plastic’, it said.

In terms of recycling, either the whole bottle can be placed in your bin, or you can separate to two parts.

First release

paper wine bottle

The first wine released with the Frugal bottle is Cantina Goccia, 3Q 2017, a Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet blend. Previous vintages have won medals in the Decanter World Wine Awards.

We’ve had fantastic feedback from people who’ve trialled the Frugal Bottle,’ Malcolm Waugh, Frugalpac’s CEO.

‘As well as the superior environmental benefits, it looks and feels like no other bottle you have ever seen.’

Testing out the Frugal bottle

Testing out a Frugal bottle sample, one certainly notices that it’s much lighter to hold than glass.

It would make a good conversation starter, and the advantage of the good insulation and weight makes it an ideal picnic wine; plus no clinking of glass in your bag, or when you put your recycling out.

It does make me think of the bag-in-box principle, although the 75cl size of the Frugal bottle is better for two people sharing. The other similarity to a bag-in-box, however, is that it’s hard to tell how much you’ve had, because you can’t see through the packaging.

See also: 

Andrew Jefford column: The trouble with bottles (2018)

How good is canned wine? 

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