Italian wine producer Cantina Goccia has developed what it claims is the “world’s first” purpose-built filling machine for paper bottles.
The facility, which is based at its Umbria winery, will initially fill 1,000 paper bottles per hour, with the opportunity to double capacity in the future.
Since Cantina Goccia launched its own paper-packaged wine in June 2020, it has filled 114,000 paper bottles: 64,000 bottles of its own wines and 50,000 for third parties, including the likes of When in Rome, which debuted its own paper bottle wines in April 2022.
To date, it has done this by using a “semi-automated” system, which involves human intervention at each of the stages of the filling process and ”therefore is more costly because of the labour cost and slower”.
The bottles, which are made by British sustainable packaging company Frugalpac, are claimed to use six times less carbon to produce and dispose of than glass bottles. Additionally, they are five times lighter than glass ones.
Cantina Goccia has committed to moving 80% of its wine production into paper bottles.
“Whilst we were proud to be the first wine to be sold in a Frugal Bottle, we want to play our part in helping other brands make the switch to a more environmentally-friendly bottle,” said Cantina Goccia co-owner Ceri Parke.
“That’s why we made the decision to move from our current semi-automated filling service to a much faster bespoke filling solution, designed specifically for paper Frugal Bottles.
“Our experience of working with the Frugal Bottle since 2020 made us extremely well equipped to test and transition to this new machine, which we helped to design, based on our extensive experience of working with the bottle and its filling requirements,” said Parke.
“We believe the Frugal Bottle has the potential to massively decarbonise the drinks industry and we’re proud to be launching a dedicated new filling service to help other brands reduce their carbon footprint too.”
Frugalpac CEO Malcolm Waugh said the move by Cantina Goccia was “a massive vote of confidence in our paper bottle revolution”.
“Their dedicated filling service designed specifically to fill our paper bottles will help more and more wine and spirit brands make the move to low-carbon packaging, and we thank them for their continuing commitment to make bottles more sustainable.”
It comes after Carlsberg unveiled its first fully recyclable, bio-based beer bottle in June 2022.
Absolut Vodka trialled its own prototype paper vodka bottle (made of 57% paper and 43% recycled plastic) in the UK and Sweden in 2021.