Reducing GHG emissions with packaging and transportation


Choice of bottles:

Glass bottles account for 70-80% of the dry matter carbon footprint and 25-35% of the total carbon footprint of wine. Source ?

According to studies carried out by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME, 2023), choosing a re-used bottle is almost always the best choice in terms of GHG emissions and water consumption. This point depends to a large extent on washing conditions. It is the use of fossil fuels or low-carbon electricity for melting and firing glass that works against new bottles. Also, for a new bottle, around 35% of raw materials in France are not derived from recycling. If reuse is not possible (marketing choice of an "iconic" bottle, unavailability of a washing offer, etc.), then glass bottle selections could evaluate the following criteria.

Choose lighter bottles. GHG emissions and other negative externalities linked to the single bottle logically diminish as bottle weight decreases. The indirect effect of lighter bottles is also positive on the carbon footprint of logistics and transport.

Select bottles with as much cullet as possible. Generally speaking, the darker the shade, the more cullet can be added. The addition of cullet reduces CO2 emissions during bottle manufacture, as the melting temperature of cullet is around 30% lower than the melting temperature of the raw materials. The use of cullet also means that no sand is taken from the environment.

Choose a bottle produced by a glassmaker with a better environmental record, if comparisons are possible. Given the current state of publication obligations and practices, this is a difficult choice. Important indicators for environmental reports include tons of greenhouse gases emitted per ton of glass, the origin of electricity consumption, and water consumption.

Explore alternatives to glass bottles in terms of environmental criteria.

Corks - closure systems

Pre-requisite: choosing the best closure to meet environmental criteria is a trickier business than choosing a glass bottle, since it has consequences for the evolution of the wine, unlike the almost identical neutrality of all glass containers. Permeability and the risk of sensory deviation must be taken into account when choosing closures.

In the absence of life-cycle analyses comparing different types of stoppers, the choice of stopper based on ecological criteria could be based on the following elements: the energy intensity required to manufacture a stopper, the CO2 content of its components and the recyclability of stoppers. The level of cork content, a traditional stopper material whose use has positive externalities for the biotope (tree planting, fire-fighting).

The 4 main categories of stoppers are :

- 100% cork stoppers, which contain no sourced petroleum products and are easily recyclable (although recycling is currently very low).
- Agglomerated or microagglomerated corks, which contain between 60% and 95% cork and petro-sourced or bio-sourced agglomerants. These corks are less easily recycled than 100% cork.
- Plastic corks, made from polymers, sometimes bio-sourced and recyclable but not easily recycled.
- Screw caps: highly recyclable, but with a higher carbon footprint than other closures.

Labels : Printing substrate, Glassine, adhesive, inks

Choice of printing substrate: co-sourced, bio-sourced, recycled paper, paper weight,
Ink: digital printing saves energy thanks to faster set-up,
Label format: a smaller label consumes less paper and ink.
Lower grammage glassines allow greater flexibility in a labeler, and the label roll less volume for the same number of labels.
Overcapsules :

Thanks to new regulations and customs procedures, more and more winemakers are opting not to use overcapsules. When an overcapsule is chosen, the choice of material (weight and recyclability) is important.

Cardboard : Consideration of papers, surface used and grammage, which will influence weight and volume, and therefore palletization.
The same applies to cardboard cushioning (concept, materials).

Author: François Rey


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    Contact the referent of this page : François Rey