The Co-Operative Group, famed for its ethical stance, is launching what is believed to be the world's lightest spirits bottle.

The bottle, which weighs just 298 grams, compared to the normal 350 grams, is the first commercially available 70cl bottle to break the 300-gram weight barrier.

The Co-op says it will set a new "best in class" standard for the sector and will be used for its own-label Finest-Blend Scotch whisky. It is expected to be rolled out to stores in the middle of next month. This will be followed by Co-op own-label gin and vodka.

About 400,000 70cl bottles will be switched over to the lighter bottles - making estimated glass savings of 20 tonnes a year.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that 150,000 tonnes of glass could be saved annually if the food and drink industry cut the average container weight by just 10%.

WRAP project manager Nicola Jenkin said: "We hope other retailers and brand owners will follow suit."