Marks and Spencer has revealed it is to become the first UK supermarket chain to convert its entire range of small wine bottles to eco-friendly plastic packaging .
The retailer will this week move all of its 25cl still wine bottles, which includes 19 bottles of red, white and rose wine, from glass to greener, lightweight plastic containers in a bid to help the environment. It estimates that the move will save 525 tonnes of packaging per year.
M&S said it has developed a new plastic technology known as MLP PET (polyethylene terephthalate) with the help of Paul Sapin and Roger Harris Wines . It claims the new technology can “significantly” extend the wine’s shelf life as it stops oxygen from entering the bottles .
According to Roger Harris Wines, the new plastic bottles use less energy to manufacture than glass bottles and are 88 per cent lighter, resulting in lower carbon emissions during transport.
Belinda Kleinig of M&S said: “This is a really exciting for M&S as it means our customers can enjoy the same great quality wine but in much lighter bottles, which is not only easier for them to carry, but better for the environment.”
Sales of the miniature wine bottles at M&S have soared to around 100,000 a week due to the warm UK weather, with many shoppers seeing them as an ideal drink for picnics and other outdoor events such as music festivals.
Commenting on the move, a spokesman for the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) said: “There’s clearly an appetite for buying wine in different quantities and we know from our own research that consumers are open to new forms of packaging .”
“Many parts of the industry are looking at ways of reducing their environmental impact. Given that most wine sold in the UK is imported it also makes sound economic sense to look at lightweight glass or alternatives.”