Scheme aims to cut suppliers' glass use

26 January, 2007

A government-funded scheme is calling on retailers and brand owners to trial lightweight glass containers for RTDs and softdrinks.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme says producers could save 65,000 tonnes of glass and 48,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2009 - the equivalent of taking 28,000 cars off the road. WRAP's latest project aims to save 20,000 tonnes of glass by completion in March 2008, by developing lightweight containers which will be put through rigorous trials.

Experts from the University of Wales, Bangor; will conduct consumer perception tests while hi-tech wireless sensors will be placed inside containers to assess performance during handling, filling and packaging.

Faraday packaging partnership managing director Dr Walter Lewis, said: "Previous trials have shown that lightweight glass packaging can be strong, practical and popular with consumers, while maintaining brand identity."

In May 2006 WRAP called on producers and importers of wines under £5 to cut waste by making bottles lighter and importing in bulk. Making bottles 10 per cent or 20 per cent lighter can save producers ten of thousands of pounds, according to the group.

Marks & Spencer is to spend £200 million over five years on a wide-ranging "eco-plan" that will include a commitment to local sourcing and ethical trading issues. It has also pledged to reduce its use of packaging by 25 per cent.

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