Explore the trend of sustainable spirits packaging, including paper bottles and eco-friendly materials. Learn how brands balance luxury with ecological responsibility.

Sustainable Spirits Packaging: Balancing Luxury and Ecology

In an attempt to cut down on glass usage and become more sustainable, spirits companies are creating packaging and bottles from plant-based materials and paper. However, the question arises - does this compromise the sense of luxury?

Every year, 40 billion glass spirits bottles are produced worldwide, generating 22 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Spirits brands are now trialing sustainable packaging, from eco-cannisters to transforming glass into cardboard.

Is this a temporary trend or the future of spirits packaging? Can paper bottles work for premium products? Elin Furelid, director of future packaging for The Absolut Company, states, "Paper, just like glass, is a very versatile material. It can be seen as cheap or very exclusive."

The Absolut Company is trialling its paper bottle rollout in 29 Tesco stores around Manchester, UK, indicating a potential permanent shift towards cardboard packaging. Furelid emphasizes, "Our long-term aim is to build a range of sustainable packaging that covers all relevant occasions."

Many spirits brands have released sustainability roadmaps, aiming for net-zero emissions, making sustainable materials a lasting practice. However, one challenge is the concern that a paper bottle might detract from a brand's iconic or premium look.

For Chris Egger, co-founder of Portofino Dry Gin, the focus is on exploring innovative materials and design techniques rather than transitioning from glass to paper. Meanwhile, A de Fussigny introduced its 2050 Organic Cognac in a plant-based bottle, prioritizing sustainability over a premium look.

Renan Joel, managing director of packaging at Easyfairs, argues that multipacks and secondary packaging are essential for creating a sustainable alcohol brand. He believes that sustainable packaging can enhance a brand's premium look, as shown by an Ipsos study where 63% of US consumers associate paper and cardboard packaging with a more premium feel.

Paul Davidson from Glencairn Crystal sees sustainability advantages in glassware, emphasizing that their products are rarely thrown away. However, cardboard is considered a more sustainable option, influencing consumer perceptions of brands.

Elin Furelid points out that a key challenge in sustainable packaging is recycling systems and behavior. Brands may express environmental commitments in other ways until recycling systems become more accommodating.

Amorim Top Series, a leading closures producer, introduced a range of sustainable stoppers in 2021, aligning with the brand's commitment to eco-friendly products. While challenges exist in finding a one-size-fits-all solution, the spirits industry is moving towards contributing to a greener environment.

It seems the world is still a long way from seeing the spirits aisle lined with paper-based bottles, but brands are making strides towards a greener future, addressing concerns about appearing premium while adopting sustainable packaging.


Keywords

sustainable packaging , spirits bottles , paper bottles , eco-friendly materials , premium packaging

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