Bottle closures: The environmental advantage of screwcaps

Thursday December 10 2015 by Vitisphere

During a conference organised by Aluminium Closures on November 25 at the vineyard and winery equipment show Sitevi in Montpellier, Isabelle Jenny from Amcor detailed the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine. Her analysis showed that screwcaps may have a slight advantage over other closures.

A 75 cl bottle of wine has a carbon footprint of 3.9kg of CO2, which is “the equivalent of a 25-km car journey”, pointed out Isabelle Jenny who is part of the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules project launched by the European Commission. Grape growing and wine production generate the greatest amount of CO2 along with the production and use of glass bottles. Conversely, bottle closures account for less than 0.1%, and if a choice had to be made between two types of closure, screwcaps have a slight advantage over others, at least according to Isabelle Jenny’s calculations. As screwcaps never cause cork taint, there is no wastage of wine. The amount thrown down the sink because of various types of taint is caused by corks and accounts for between 2 and 5% of global production. Obviously, to produce this amount of wine, CO2 was released and cork’s carbon footprint has to take this into account.

At European level, 45% of screwcaps are recycled. France’s record could be improved as it only recycles 40% of screwcaps. To improve its credentials, consumer education is required so that screwcaps are left on glass containers sent off to be recycled. Few people know that materials recovery facilities are equipped for sorting aluminium from broken glass.

 

[Source: Vitisphere; Photo: Aluminium Closures]

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