Waitrose trials removal of wine bottle neck sleeves in sustainability effort

Waitrose trials removal of wine bottle neck sleeves in sustainability effort

Sustainability

Waitrose, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership portfolio, is selling wine bottles without plastic and foil sleeves around the neck.

The UK supermarket is the first to take this sustainable step which will eliminate the need for wine drinkers to cut and tear off this packaging as part of the traditional bottle opening ritual.

The sleeves, also known as ‘capsules’, serve no functional purpose and will be removed from four bottles initially, belonging to Waitrose’s Loved & Found wine range of lesser-known grape varieties and wine regions. By year end, the remaining six will follow, reducing unnecessary packaging on the full range of ten Loved & Found wines.

Waitrose expects this move alone to save half a tonne of packaging per year.

Waitrose trials removing wine bottle neck sleeves credit John Lewis Partnership
Waitrose trials removing wine bottle neck sleeves © John Lewis Partnership
Barry Dick, MW and Beer, Wine and Spirit Sourcing Manager for Waitrose said; Bottle neck sleeves were introduced many years ago to prevent pests such as moths and weevils from ruining wines kept in dark, damp cellars. The caterpillars of this moth species would bore into the wine corks, causing the wine to leak, or taste musty. Nowadays few people have wine cellars and those who do tend to keep them in much better conditions. This has meant that the sleeves have remained for purely aesthetic reasons and are no longer needed to protect wine.

The quality of corks used by the wine industry has also been dramatically improved. The bottles in our trial will be corked with a new FSC cork which has been extensively tried and tested for its ability to resist being contaminated with TCA, which makes corks smell and taste mouldy and ruins wine. TCA is the reason why cork fell out of favour, but cork has great sustainability credentials which is why it's making a comeback.

The bottles look quite different as the neck appears naked, so it will be interesting to see how our customers react to us removing these familiar sleeves. I for one am looking forward to not having to wrestle with the packaging.

Furthermore, Waitrose has converted many of its small wine bottles to cans, halving the carbon footprint per drink, as part of the supermarket’s ongoing sustainability efforts.

Latest Packaging News

Asda unveils new Exceptional range in premium packaging
Business

Asda unveils new Exceptional range in premium packaging

Asda has introduced Exceptional by Asda, a new premium own-brand range, featuring 'distinctly...
Automation UK brings industrial automation and robotics to life
Technology

Automation UK brings industrial automation and robotics to life

The highly anticipated return of Automation UK is fast approaching, with the show once again taking...
Cano Water cuts carbon footprint with UK shift
Sustainability

Cano Water cuts carbon footprint with UK shift

Cano Water, the 'world's first canned water brand', has relocated its drink production from Austria...
Aldi unveils 100% rPET washing up liquid bottles
Sustainability

Aldi unveils 100% rPET washing up liquid bottles

Aldi has transitioned to using 100% recycled plastic (rPET) in some of its own-brand washing up...
Tetra Pak commits to taking action for nature
Supplier News

Tetra Pak commits to taking action for nature

Tetra Pak has announced the launch of its ‘Approach to Nature’ - a comprehensive framework that...