It wasn’t so very long ago that bringing a screw-cap bottle of wine to a dinner party was considered a crime on a par with spitting in the soup. That’s changed so completely in recent years that cork makers took to marketing their product as an eco-friendly option, with forests of the stuff supposedly good for biodiversity.

Now the UK has its first wine in recyclable cartons, thanks to Raisin Social and Tetra Pak, as revealed in these pages in May and now reaching shelves.

“If cartons lack the supposed ‘theatre’ of the cork, the environmental upside is obvious”

Charlie Wright, web editor

If cartons lack the supposed ‘theatre’ of the cork (or even the screw-top), the environmental upside is obvious. And so are the benefits for retailers, in terms of extra shelf space and reduced transport costs, as well as helpfully buffing up those green credentials.

That’s why retailers as diverse as Londis and Waitrose are getting behind the innovation, though the risk of finding a mortified wine snob in the aisles is considerably higher for one than the other.

Waitrose says the new packaging “ticks all the ethical boxes”. Even so, it might be a while before dinner party invites politely advise you to ‘bring a carton’.