Earlier this week, New Zealand’s Mobius wines announced they are taking steps to cite their carbon footprint on the wine market by advertising it on their labels, giving the consumer a more informed choice in their wine picks. Now, A whole new take on lessening the wine industry’s carbon footprint: Reusing wine bottles.
As we develop better technologies in the green movement we begin to see the outright advantages of some techniques over others. One of those is the practice of reuse over recycle. Reuse has a clear advantage of recycle: reusing wine bottles produces less than 5% of the emissions that production of the bottles creates.
Wine Bottle Renew CEO Bruce Stephens says about 60% of the carbon footprint created by the wine industry happens in the production of bottles. Under his company, washing a wine bottle for reuse reduces the footprint by up to 95%.
While having the eco-friendly advantage of reusing wine bottles in mind, Wine Bottle Renew does hope to see some profit from their practice. After two years of failed attempts due to complications: hard-to-remove labels and varying bottle shapes causing disturbances in the bottling lines, the company is now cleaning bottles for wineries with the hope that it catches on further.
The 92,000 square foot building in Stockton warehouses its collection of bottles for processing. They call the finished product a Renew bottle. The process includes pre- and post-consumer wine bottles that go through a massive sorting operation, an thorough inspection process, label removing, an extensive washing and sanitation that uses high temperatures and specifically eco-friendly solutions for decontaminating the bottles and then on to a final inspection.
Reusable bottles expect to exceed 2.5 million cases per annum, collected from wineries, tasting rooms and special events. The company hopes to include restaurants and waste collection services once the process has gained some solid footing. For now though, Stephens will have to rely on his 3,000 collection bins.
Wine Bottle Renew will be at the Green Wine Summit where they will unveil their mobile label removing service. They also plan to launch a decanting and disgorging service. As each winery brings its tasting rooms online hoping to draw more tourism, Wine Bottle Renew hopes to cash in on the wineries’ empty bottles. They are already increasing their inventory this way.
If you’d like to take part in the round up, visit the company’s website: winebottlerecycling.com