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EcoTuf answers the green glass call

Australian wine bottle decoration specialists, Cutler Brands/Kingfisher, has answered the environmental call from the United Kingdom wine trade to dramatically reduce the quantity of green glass being imported into the country.

Using a new revolutionary coating technology, Cutler Brands/Kingfisher has produced EcoTuf, a 100% fully organic, UV protective, bottle coating to turn clear (flint) bottles green.

When recycled the organic coating evaporates and the glass is recycled as clear (flint) glass.

Many of the high profile UK High Street retailers are calling for recyclable flint glass instead of green glass as part of their Courtauld Commitment. This agreement between WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme) and major grocery organisations in the UK, will lead to new packaging solutions and technologies so that less rubbish ends up in the household bin and landfill.

Grocery chains such as Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose have all committed to substantial reductions in non-recyclable packaging over the next three to five years.

General Manager of Cutler Brands/Kingfisher, Mike Rogers, explains the product has the ability to provide Australian winemakers with a realistic option to help these retailers meet their environmental targets.

“Green glass recycling facilities are very limited in the UK market,” Mike said. “The EcoTuf coating protects the wine as if it were in green glass while allowing the consumer to recycle the bottle with their other clear (flint) glass. So far this is the only real solution offered by the Australian industry for exported glass.

“For more than 12 months we have been trialing the formula and application technology and have conducted extensive transmission testing at the Ian Wark Research Institute at the University of South Australia.

“Using our purpose built manufacturing equipment we have managed to develop the product for its market release and keep the cost per unit down,” Mike Rogers said.

The EcoTuf coating can be applied to almost any bottle shape, weight, size or design. Application colours range from the popular French green to the more traditional Antique green. Cutler Brands/Kingfisher have also explored the possibility of creating a specialist bottle mould that includes the EcoTuf brand and the instruction ‘Recycle as Flint’.

Mike Rogers added that in the current economic environment Cutler Brands/Kingfisher are also excited by the prospect of retaining a strong bottling industry locally that retains and creates Australian jobs.

Amy Russell, Director Natural Resources at the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has just spent two weeks in discussion with UK trade on this topic and supports the need for industry innovation to respond to market demands for lightweight and clear glass bottles.

“The majority of the UK’s glass manufacture is clear (flint) glass. This is why they are so keen to both reduce the amount of green glass being imported into the UK, and also to encourage the use of flint glass instead of green glass – so that it can be recycled to satisfy the UK’s flint glass demand,” Amy explains.

“EcoTuf was mentioned at this year’s London International Wine Fair at the WRAP Bottling Wine in a Changing Climate briefing.

“It was welcomed as an Australian innovation that could meet retailer pressure towards the use of flint glass.”

A number of UK retailers are currently in discussion with Cutler Brands/Kingfisher in relation to the EcoTuf coating.

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