Canadian supplier launches wines in first 1L PET

Canadian supplier launches wines in first 1L PET
Societe de Vin Internationale LTEE, a leading supplier of fine wines, beers, and alcomalts, based in Laval, Quebec, has made its debut in plastic packaging, introducing the first 1 Liter PET wine bottle for the North American airline industry.

The lightweight PET barrier container, supplied by Amcor Rigid Plastics, the world’s leading producer of PET packaging, gives cost-conscious airlines a high quality option that mimics glass while also delivering reduced fuel consumption and a cost savings over its glass predecessor.

Air Transat charter airline in Montreal, one of Canada’s largest charter airlines, adopted the use of a lightweight 1L PET wine bottle for sustainability advantages, according to Aldo Geloso, an executive with Societe de Vin Internationale. “We introduced the concept and they quickly came on board because of a vital need to reduce weight on their aircraft and consequently reduce fuel costs,” explained Geloso.

In addition, Air Transat reports that the wine container has been well-received by air travellers and will be expanded into full service use, according to Geloso. The 54g PET stock bottle is one-eighth the weight of the previous 430g glass container. It is used for Societe de Vin Internationale’s 1L Claret wine format for its Costabella, Viejos Robles, Massaria, and Bergerie du Loup wine brands.

The 1L bottle is a first in this format for Amcor, which previously developed smaller 187ml and 750ml containers. The container uses unique barrier coating technology developed by Germany’s KHS Plasmax GmbH. “This is an important development because it expands the market potential for barrier PET wine containers,” explained Kerry Drewry, sales manager for Amcor Rigid Plastics. “We expect continued growth for barrier PET bottles in a range of sizes for wine.”

The new packaging not only meets the airline’s sustainability needs but offers a glass-like option with no breakage and a similar shelf life. “At the end of the day, it’s still the same high quality wine product that is now easy to transport and very convenient for the consumer,” said Geloso.

The KHS Plasmax Silicon Oxide (SiOx) barrier coating seals the container from the inside to protect the contents from oxidation. Plasmax is an FDA-compliant enhanced passive barrier for oxygen sensitive products. This ultra thin (less than 100nm) material is transparent and resists cracking, abrasion, and delamination. Moreover, it doesn’t degrade over time nor limit the storage time for empty bottles. The barrier coating is easily removed during the recycling process and does not contaminate the recycling stream.

Consumer feedback has also been favorable for the convenient aluminum screw-cap bottle. Based on the early success so far, Societe de Vin Internationale is considering a retail launch later this year in Quebec grocery stores. On the retail side, lightweight PET significantly reduces freight costs and enables manufacturers to reduce their environmental footprint by cutting the amount of packaging, thus reducing the volume of waste being sent to landfills.

Geloso said the company will target other airlines while also considering barrier PET bottles for other products such as cider in smaller sizes like 330ml and 500ml. Amcor’s Drewry said the company is working closely with other wineries who are seeking alternative packaging for sustainability benefits. She added that the PET barrier technology is being targeted at other markets for oxygen sensitive products.