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FRUGALPAC – The paper bottle helping to decarbonise drinks packaging

ABSTRACT

British sustainable packaging company Frugalpac set out to create a more sustainable form of wine and spirits packaging that would be easy to recycle but with a vastly reduced carbon footprint.

Frugalpac devised The Frugal Bottle – the biggest innovation for wine and spirits since the launch of the glass bottle.

The 75cl Frugal Bottle is made from 94% recycled paperboard with a food-grade pouch to hold the wine or spirit. It can be refrigerated and keeps the liquid cooler for longer.

The Frugal Bottle is five times lighter than glass with a carbon footprint up to six times lower.

The Frugal Bottle, which is comparable in cost to a labelled glass bottle, is the brainchild of Frugalpac, which creates and supplies recycled paper-based products with the lowest carbon footprint that are easily recycled again so they don’t need to go to landfill. The bottles were initially made by a machine designed and built by Frugalpac and sited at its innovation centre in Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

The first wine to go on sale in the Frugal Bottle was from the award-winning Italian vineyard Cantina Goccia. 3Q is an unwooded Sangiovese red with a hint of Merlot and Cabernet.

 

STARTING DATE: 04/2016           ENDING DATE: ongoing

SUSTAINABLE TARGET:

Create a more sustainable packaging in order to reduced carbon footprint.

An independent Life Cycle Analysis carried out by Intertek, which tested the Frugal Bottle alongside bottles made from glass and PET plastic, found:

  • The Frugal Bottle has the lowest carbon footprint with 91.9g CO2e – 84% lower than a 440g imported glass bottle (558.2g CO2e) and 34% lower than a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic (138.6 g CO2e)
  • The Frugal Bottle’s carbon footprint was even four times less than a 345g lightweight glass bottle made in the UK (382g CO2e)
  • The Frugal Bottle uses up to 77% less plastic than a plastic bottle. Only 15 grams against a 64g wine bottle made from 100% recycled plastic.
  • The Frugal Bottle’s water footprint is at least four times lower than a glass bottle. It takes 2.5 litres of water to make a lightweight 345g glass bottle made in the UK but only 0.6 litre to make a Frugal Bottle.

The LCA looked at the ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle of all bottles, including mineral extraction, manufacture, transportation, distribution, filling and recycling or incineration

PARTNERS

Cantina Goccia – who were Frugal Bottle’s first customer

Group Roland – who help Frugalpac make the bottles in the UK

COMPANY SUMMARY: Frugalpac Ltd

British sustainable packaging company Frugalpac set out to create a more sustainable form of wine and spirits packaging that would be easy to recycle but with a vastly reduced carbon footprint.

Frugalpac devised The Frugal Bottle – the biggest innovation for wine and spirits since the launch of the glass bottle.

The 75cl Frugal Bottle is made from 94% recycled paperboard with a food-grade pouch to hold the wine or spirit. It can be refrigerated and keeps the liquid cooler for longer.

The Frugal Bottle is five times lighter than glass with a carbon footprint up to six times lower.

The Frugal Bottle, which is comparable in cost to a labelled glass bottle, is the brainchild of Frugalpac, which creates and supplies recycled paper-based products with the lowest carbon footprint that are easily recycled again so they don’t need to go to landfill. The bottles were initially made by a machine designed and built by Frugalpac and sited at its innovation centre in Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

The first wine to go on sale in the Frugal Bottle was from the award-winning Italian vineyard Cantina Goccia. 3Q is an unwooded Sangiovese red with a hint of Merlot and Cabernet.

REASONS WHY/ MOTIVATION

The reasons why the Frugal Bottle was developed was because:

  • It’s lighter. The Frugal Bottle weighs just 83g so it is up to five times lighter than a normal glass bottle, making it easier to carry and lighter to transport.
  • It’s better for the environment. An independent Life Cycle Analysis by Intertek found the Frugal Bottle, which is made from recycled paperboard with no chemicals, has a carbon footprint up to six times (84%) lower than a glass bottle and more than a third less than a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. The Frugal Bottle’s water footprint is also at least four times lower than glass.
  • It’s easy to recycle again. Simply separate the plastic food-grade pouch from the paper bottle and put them in your respective recycling bins.
  • It uses less plastic than a plastic bottle. The Frugal Bottle uses up to 77% less plastic. Only 15g compared to a 64g bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. The food grade pouch is a polyethylene metallised polyester laminate, the same material used in bag in box wines. It is recyclable.
  • It stands out. As the Frugal Bottle is made from recycled paperboard, it allows for 360-degree branding across the bottle. No other wine or spirits bottle looks or feels like it, so it stands out on shelf and table.

It’s better for wine producers. The Frugal Bottle can be produced in the heart of their bottling facility, offers complete freedom on design and print, is more cost effective to transport while reducing their carbon footprint.

DESCRIPTION and STRATEGIES

The Frugal Bottle is a rigid paper shell formed from three separate printed, die-cut paperboard parts. The inner liner is an injection-moulded homo-polymer neck finish welded onto a flexible Doy pouch, which is available in a variety of material specifications to maximize its compatibility with end-of-life recycling and waste streams in the territory in which it is sold.

ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR

Since launching last June, the first wine by Cantina Goccia in a Frugal Bottle has proved to be so popular it completely sold out its run of bottles twice, with one wine chain, Woodwinters in Scotland, selling its whole stock in in just one day.

 

The 3Q red wine in a paper bottle proved so popular that Cantina Goccia now intends to make paper bottles a permanent fixture and will soon release a white and rose wine in Frugal Bottles too.

The Frugal Bottle has received considerable national and international media coverage and Frugalpac has been inundated with enquiries from interested companies around the world. In January alone, Frugalpac received an order for 60,000 bottles from Spain and another sizable order from Japan for both wine and sake bottles. Frugalpac has also partnered with British distillers Silent Pool to fill Frugal Bottles for its national and international orders. Silent Pool will also produce the world’s first gin in a paper bottle, launched next month.

Frugalpac was also recently praised by the UK Government’s Department for International Trade’s GREAT Britain campaign as one of the UK organisations “doing incredible things to help build a global sustainable future” in the run up to next year’s COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

And respected wine writer Jancis Robinson recently praised Frugalpac pointed in her FT column about wine bottles, stating: “for the sake of the planet we need to look more favourably on the alternatives for wine that is drunk within days or weeks of purchase.”

LESSONS LEARNED

Like other businesses in the paper bottle market, we originally looked at pulp-moulding technology before quickly choosing to construct our bottle from flat paperboard parts. A key learning was how energy intensive pulp-moulding processes are, learning that gave as a key early opportunity to go a different way.

Another lesson learned was to develop the first-generation prototype machines in-house. This allows us to retain the know-how around our technologies and accelerate the time it takes to develop version 2 production machines. Frugalpac is as much an engineering business as it is a packaging development business.

A final example would be just how open the wine and spirits market is to try a new novel packaging solutions like the Frugal Bottle. Early concerns around the industry being conservative and slow to adopt new packaging formats are quickly being dispelled.

An independent poll of more than 1,700 UK wine drinkers by pollster Survation found that 63% of wine drinkers would buy wine in a Frugal Bottle.

NEXT STEPS

Frugalpac’s business model is to create and export its Frugal Bottle machines around the world so they can be sighted locally to reduce the carbon footprint of our packaging even further. It has found its first customer for its platform machine with a letter of intent from German packaging firm IIC Packaging.

It will see the £550,000 machine installed at its headquarters in Freiburg, producing up to two and a half million Frugal Bottles a year. It’s hoped that IIC’s new machine will be operational in Q4 2021.Frugalpac also has strong intent from several other international companies to invest in the machine platforms in the next few months.

To release our 1st Sustainability Report.

 

POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION

There are other companies that are developing prototype paper bottles however our bottle is principally different in that we can print the entire paper shell and the consumer can separate the plastic and paper parts.

But the key is to ensure that new sustainable packaging technology becomes the norm, by licensing it to as many packaging and co-packing companies as possible around the world. This would allow the new paper bottle machines to be sited locally to reduce carbon emissions even further.

As Frugalpac is not in a consortium, it is able to offer our machine platform and technology to all brands and packaging companies who want to make the change.

Frugalpac is convinced the paper bottle market will open up whole new supply chains for recycled paper suppliers, print shops and packaging companies and revitalise the industry.

Member

The Frugal Bottle

Area

UK

Date

18 Fevereiro, 2021

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Let’s Create A Sustainable Future For Generations To Come.