A new study in the UK will look to silence critics of bulk wine imports, by showing the practice is workable as well as environmentally friendly.
The Waste Resources & Action Programme (WRAP) is seeking partners for a new 18-month project, which is set to begin within the next few months.
It will consider the feasibility of importing wine in bulk and bottling it on arrival in the UK, assessing factors such as bottling capacity and recycling facilities.
Carbon emissions have already been cut by 28,000 tonnes per year due to lighter bottles and an increase in bulk imports, WRAP announced last week.
Many Australian winemakers, as the number one suppliers to the UK, remain cautious about shipping their wine in bulk, according to Amy Russell, of Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.
“We are keen to make sure the consumer is going to support us,” she told a seminar hosted by WRAP at last week’s London International Wine Fair.
There is also a question mark over the UK’s glass recycling capacity. EU targets for glass recovery were “only just” met last year, Dr Nick Kirk, of Glass Technology Services, told OLN.
Industry officials have been frustrated by local authorities mixing glass together with other materials for recycling. Separating the materials is costly and causes extra wastage, they say.