We had a customer contact us this week to ask why we use plastic mushroom toppers on our 20cl Prosecco (available in Waitrose and Ocado). Of course we responded explaining why that’s the case, but it gave us a great reminder to write this article sharing more on the challenges of sustainability in packaging and our journey to date.
The customer questioned why, as a planet-friendly brand, we use a plastic closure for this particular bottle, rather than cork. It is a really good question because, being completely honest, if there was an alternative, then we’d most certainly choose not to use plastic. However, as with all 20cl sparkling wines and Champagnes, there is currently no other option on the market. We continue to monitor this situation and we will move to more planet-friendly options as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, both the aluminium cap and the plastic mushroom topper from our 20cl can be recycled in the normal household recycling bin collection.
We use natural cork for our standard size, 75cl Prosecco and Prosecco Rosé bottles, and as with any natural cork, we’d always encourage you o pop the used corks into your home compost bin. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you could upcycle them! Check out some of the amazing cork recycling projects here. The team in the office love the cork wreath – just wondering if we can save enough corks between now and Christmas to give that a go?!
On the subject of corks, one decision we made from the start is to only use natural corks which are sourced from accredited managed forestry schemes. Synthetic corks are widely available to wine brands and producers, but many of these are made from material that isn’t biodegradable, so this decision, albeit perhaps a small one to most people, is an important one for us.
Screw caps – good or bad?
We use screw caps on our Pinot Grigio and Malbec Rosé. Again, since we set out, we’ve always been careful to consider all options in offering something that is aligned with our environmental values, whilst also being the best possible organic wine we can produce. In particular, white, rosé and red wines which are meant to be drunk young, keep fresher and brighter in a bottle with a screw cap, as it is the best barrier to oxygen. Many of our customers also find screw caps more convenient for white and rosé wines which they keep in the fridge and re-seal after enjoying a glass.
Our screw caps are made from aluminium and are fully recyclable, along with your drink cans or other aluminium packaging. The aluminium ‘sleeve’ on the neck of the bottles can be left on when you put out your bottles for recycling. When they are processed, the aluminium will be removed and recycled separately. Given that there is a recycling solution to screw caps, and that they are best for the wine itself, we’re happy that we’ve achieved the right balance on this one.
Labels and cartons
In terms of our broader packaging, we’re constantly reviewing our processes and what’s available, to make steps towards being even more environmentally friendly. We re-designed our labels at the end of last year, removing the acetate TO logo sticker, and moving to using only accredited sources of managed forestry pulp for all our labels and outer cartons. For our website orders, we have moved to using only paper tape with water-based adhesive to secure our cartons and environmentally friendly water-based inks. Again, we appreciate these may seem little steps, but the way we see it, every small step does make a difference. Just imagine if every wine company did this…