Canadian Packaging

Lightweight bottles take flight with airlines

New lightweight bottles help airlines reduce fuel costs.


April 21, 2011
by Canadian Packaging Staff

As airlines around the world look for new ways to reduce fuel consumption and cut their carbon emissions, Laval, Que.-based wine-and-beer distributor Société de Vin Internationale Ltée is hoping that its recently-launched one-liter plastic PET (polyethylene terephthalate) wine bottles will take flight in industry circles after its successful debut aboard charter flights operated by Air Transat of Montreal.

Manufactured by Amcor Rigid Plastics, the new PET barrier containers—used for the company’s popular Costabella, Viejos Robles, Massaria and Bergerie du Loup wine brands—weigh a mere 54 grams, which is slightly less than one-eighth of the 450-gram weight of the one-liter glass bottles they are designed to replace, with its special barrier coating technology ensuring similar shelf-life properties for the wines.

“We introduced the concept and Air Transat quickly came on board because of a vital need to reduce weight on their aircraft and, consequently, reduce their fuel costs,” says Société de Vin Internationale executive Aldo Geloso.

“The new packaging not only meets the airline’s sustainability needs, but offers a glass-like option with no breakage and a similar shelf-life,” says Geloso, adding the airline has received very positive feedback from its passengers, prompting it to adopt the lightweight PET bottles for full-service use.

“At the end of the day, it’s still the same high-quality wine product that is now easy to transport and very convenient for the consumer,” Geloso states.

The new bottles incorporate proprietary Plasmax silicon-oxide (SiOx) barrier coating technology—developed by German-based KHS Plasmax GmbHLightweigh wine bottle—to seal the container from the inside to protect the contents from oxidation, according to Amcor.

The transparent, ultra-thin, FDA-compliant material is also well-suited to resist cracking, abrasion and delamination, and it is said to be easily removed during the recycling process to avoid contaminating the recycling stream.

“This is an important development because it expands the market potential for barrier PET wine containers,” says Amcor Rigid Plastics sales manager Kerry Drewry.

“We expect continued growth for barrier PET bottles in a range of sizes for wine,” she says, adding the company is working closely with other wineries who are seeking alternative packaging for sustainability benefits, as well as targeting other markets for oxygen-sensitive products.

For more information, visit www.amcor.com.