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London Wine Fair to launch global bottle reuse plan

London Wine Fair 2023 has partnered with The Porto Protocol and Sustainable Wine Solutions to launch a new Bottle Collection Initiative — the first of an ongoing yearly scheme aimed at improving wine bottle reuse.

London Wine Fair to launch global bottle reuse plan

The fair, which is taking place between 15-17th May, will collect an estimated 30,000 bottles and aims to provide the most comprehensive research into wine bottle use to date. The LWF23 Bottle Collection Initiative will categorise all waste bottles collected at the show according to bottle type, label and country.

The results will create a benchmark of waste from London Wine Fair, both as a measure for future progress, and to raise awareness of the challenges within the reuse supply chain.

The Bottle Collection Initiative was put to London Wine Fair by both The Porto Protocol, whose mission is to forward climate action in the wine world, and Sustainable Wine Solutions, a UK-based wholesaler dedicated to wine on tap and reusable bottles.

Hannah Tovey, head of London Wine fair told the drinks business: “We will produce a report at the end of the show – the first report of its kind – looking at the opportunities and challenges of bottle reuse rather than recycling.”

At the time of writing, her team has only just been given the go-ahead after tirelessly mapping out the details of how they will facilitate the reuse of some 30,000 bottles.

“It has taken a huge team, and a lot of planning, right down to details such as the right receptacles for used bottles to go into at the show. Formerly, it didn’t matter if bottles got smashed because they were going to be broken down and turned into sand during the recycling process anyway. But you can’t have broken bottles for reuse so we’ve had to approach the process completely differently.”

The carbon emissions produced in manufacturing wine bottles are the single biggest contributor to total emissions in the wine industry. The rate of recycling is 70% meaning that 30% of wine bottles go to landfill.

In response to environmental concerns, several leading wine producing countries in Europe have already passed laws and initiated future quotas for packaging reuse such as wine bottles, with others expected to follow. Portugal, for example, has amended its law to state that 30% of all packaging material must be reusable by 2023.

Resource scarcity caused by the war in Ukraine as well as rising inflation are also contributing to increased pressure on producers.

For more information on London Wine Fair and the bottle re-use programme look out for our Big Interview with Hannah Tovey in the May issue of the drinks business.

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