Familia Torres tests the reuse of glass bottles in Garraf restaurants

Image courtesy Familia Torres.

Spanish wine company Familia Torres has launched a pilot trial of reusable glass bottles in restaurants to evaluate the technical, economic and environmental viability of the circular system compared to the conventional model of recycling empty wine bottles.

The initiative will initially be carried out in five restaurants in the seaside village of Garraf, just south of Barcelona. From October, the company expects to expand the list of participating restaurants, continuing the trial into 2024.

The trial begins with the organic white wine Viña Sol, in a new reusable bottle format which was designed and manufactured by Verallia specifically for this project, and is intended to become a reference model for future wines bottled in reusable packaging.

The top of the reusable bottles are engraved with ‘REUSE’ to make them easily identifiable, and the bottles are distributed in reusable boxes, following the distribution and collection model used by mineral waters in reusable glass bottles.

The winery have also carried out tests to choose a specific type of paper and adhesive for the labels that facilitates the washing and subsequent recovery of the bottles and ensures their functionality.

The reuse of glass bottles would considerably reduce the CO2 emissions generated by the wine industry, as well as the use of resources, key aspects in the current context of climate emergency. At Familia Torres, packaging material accounts for about a quarter of its total carbon footprint, with glass bottles having the greatest impact on this category (according to the audited emissions balance corresponding to Miguel Torres S.A for the year 2022).

“The reuse of glass bottles is an excellent alternative for certain markets and types of wines to advance in the reduction of emissions, provided that a standard bottle format can be established, ideally at European level,” said Miguel A. Torres, president of Familia Torres.

“It is the next step we want to take, after having managed to reduce the weight of the bottles we use for our wines as much as possible.”

Since 2008, within the framework of its Torres & Earth environmental action plan, Familia Torres has been gradually reducing the weight of the glass bottles used in all its wineries to reduce its carbon footprint. Currently, the average weight of 75 cL bottles produced in their wineries in Spain is 420 grams, below what is considered a light bottle throughout Europe.

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