Garçon Wines have launched a 10 Flat Bottle Case that the company says will significantly cut carbon emissions and logistics costs from the supply chain of wine.

The 10 Flat Bottle Case – designed and executed in collaboration with DS Smith – holds 10 full-sized, flat wine bottles in a compact case which would otherwise carry approximately just four regular, round, glass bottles of the same 75cl volume. 

With a goal of significant advancement in wine logistics, packaging and sustainability, Garçon Wines have rearranged their flat bottles into a game-changing novel orientation; eight flat bottles packed vertically with two lying horizontally in the airspace around the bottlenecks, eliminating almost all unused airspace. This has been achievable as the Garçon Wines slimline bottle was specially designed so eight bottles in total width are the same length as one bottle tall and the width & depth of a single bottle is the same as the area around the bottleneck. 

The company has done some calculations to demonstrate potential carbon emission and cost savings:

Compared to an average case for 6 round, glass bottles – the standard secondary packaging used to transport wine – Garçon Wines’ new 10 Flat Bottle Case is approximately 55% spatially smaller. This space saving per case means that a pallet loaded with 10 Flat Bottle Cases could carry 1,040 bottles of wine in comparison with a standard pallet with 6 round, glass bottles cases which would carry just 456 bottles of wine. Fitting 2.28 times more wine on a pallet translates to lower costs in: a) packaging; b) warehouse handling & storage; and c) transport. 

On an example consignment of 50,000 bottles of wine, the Garçon Wines flat wine bottle and accompanying 10 Flat Bottle Case would cut packaging costs for the case in half – from 10p to 5p per bottle, saving over £2,600. From a transport perspective and for a consignment of the same size, the 10 Flat Bottle Case would significantly reduce the need for HGVs (heavy good vehicles which take a standard 24 pallets) from 5 HGVs to just 2. Reducing the need from 5 to 2 HGVs has a direct, positive impact on the reduction in carbon emissions and costs by at least 60%. Using data from a Loughborough University paper stating that a single HGV on average emits 1.5kgs of CO2/km, then the removal of 3 HGVs would cut 4.5kgs of CO2/km.

Hypothetically, were the UK to switch half of their annual UK wine consumption of between 1.5 to 1.8 billion bottles to Garçon Wines’ new format flat wine bottles and flat bottle cases, then this would equate to a reduction of approximately 42,000 HGVs per annum used to transport wine, drastically slashing CO2 emissions and business costs from the supply chain.       

Santiago Navarro, CEO & Co-Founder of Garçon Wines commented: “Current wine transit cases used to transport 6 or 12 bottles of wine are inefficient and ineffective resulting in unnecessarily costly logistics, excessive packaging, wasted resources and a grotesque carbon footprint. This is because the bottles being used are not fit for purpose in a 21st century world of e-commerce, complex supply chains, a global world, and most importantly, climate change. 

The problems stemming from an unsuitable primary pack – a 19th century wine bottle – are amplified into secondary packaging that is equally, or arguably excessively, unsuitable. Excessive use of packaging at a time when we need to be more resource efficient is unsustainable. Furthermore, mitigating against climate change has become an existential necessity. Wine is a uniquely engaging product with a high emotional connection. It, therefore, provides a unique platform from where to communicate a change in the way we do things to help mitigate against a climate change catastrophe and create a more sustainable economy.  

The launch of our 10 Flat Bottle Case, to go with our multi award-winning flat wine bottle, will offer reductions in CO2 emissions and business costs never seen before. It will make the industry more sustainable – creating a healthier planet, wealthier industry and happier world. It will also hopefully inspire and motivate other industries to follow suit. In light of this, we are honoured to bring this ground-breaking innovation to the wine and packaging industries.”

Garçon Wines’ flat wine bottles, made of 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) PET in the UK by RPC M&H Plastics, are 40% more spatially efficient than round, glass bottles when packed next to each other. With this new orientation of placing bottles in the airspace around the bottlenecks, Garçon Wines amplifies the benefits even further, packing more than twice the amount of wine on a pallet. At 63g, the Garçon PCR PET wine bottles are 87% lighter than the average glass wine bottle, meaning the fully packed case weighs in at around 8.5kgs. Based on extrapolating figures from a wine bottle light-weighting study by WRAP, an 87% weight saving in a wine bottle would reduce carbon emissions from each bottle by more than 500g.