Friday, May 21, 2010

New Bottle for Wine Lightweights: Drinking and Saving Mother Earth

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Taking care of our environment and promoting sustainability is everybody's business. One bottle manufacturer has found a way to reduce the carbon footprint while we savor the fruit of the grape.

A new lightweight wine bottle, weighing in at less than 12 ounces, is ready to hit the market. Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI), the world's largest manufacturer of glass containers, is launching its lightest-ever North American wine bottle, which is up to 27 percent lighter than similar wine bottles. Manufactured at the company's California manufacturing facilities, the new bottles weigh just 11.6 ounces.

The company is also launching a 13-ounce 750 mL claret bottle, available to customers on the East coast. The first customer receiving the new 13-ounce container is wholesaler L.D. Carlson Co.

The new line of 750 mL lightweight claret and burgundy bottles is part of the company's initiative designed to create strong, durable, yet lighter bottles using advanced manufacturing techniques. The Lean+Green line is available in a variety of colors, including Champagne Green, Flint, Emerald Green and Dead Leaf Green, and will be between 16 and 27 percent lighter than current offerings.

The new lightweight line is said to retain the premium image of glass without noticeable changes in appearance and feel.

"O-I developed its lighter wine bottles to meet the same strict quality standards of our traditional wine bottles," said Stan Gossett, VP and Category Director for North America Wine. He went on to say that the lightweight options allow customers realize environmental savings while retaining strength and a premium image.

Lighter bottles mean less use of materials and reduce the amount of emissions released into the environment. According to O-I, use of the lightweight bottles will result in carbon dioxide savings of more than 89 tons. This is the equivalent of reducing semi-truck travel by 57,000 miles or the CO2 absorbed by 4,100 trees (this is based on production of 1 million bottles). The packaging also will reduce the cost of shipping

O-I is headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio, home town of Toledo Wines and Vines' international news center. O-I has an interesting Web site about lightweight glass packaging and glass' environmental benefits, found at

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