When many people in the United States think of boxed wine, their first thought is that it’s cheap. Most don’t look beyond that opinion for other benefits. Even I had that viewpoint until I had some at a friend’s house. What I found was that the wine was actually very good. I couldn’t tell it apart from bottled wine. I also learned a more important fact. Boxed wine is a more carbon efficient wine than its glass bottle counterpart. To me, that puts boxed wine on top of the barrel.
The concept of boxed wine was developed in Australia in the sixties. The growth of that type of packaging really took off in Europe especially after the tap was invented and installed on to the bladder to more easily dispense and seal the container. In the United States, for whatever reason, boxed wine has had a negative image. Yet, I believe the benefits are now being realized. Boxed wine is: more environmentally friendly, more cost effective, longer lasting freshness and it tastes great.
I actually never liked the heavy glass wine bottles in which wine was sold. Not only were they heavy and difficult to carry, they took up a lot of space in the refrigerator and I knew that they were not helping the environment. In most households, once used, they were trashed and off to the landfill.
Box wine, in comparison, is easier to carry and chances are if you drop it, the package will remain intact. It also fits into the refrigerator in a more compact space. Plus, the boxed wine package results in a significantly smaller carbon footprint due to less CO2 emissions produced during the production and fabrication of the box. Box wine packaging presents eight-five percent less landfill waste than heavy glass bottles. This is a huge reduction in the environmental burden of excess packaging.
Boxed wine packaging overall has a smaller carbon footprint than its glass counterpart. It’s actually fifty percent more carbon efficient that the 750ml glass bottles. Because the wine boxes are lighter than the heavy glass bottles, transporting them requires half the number of trucks to deliver the same amount of wine resulting in less emissions, less pollution, less cost and less greenhouse gases.
One of my favorite features of boxed wine is that the wine also stays fresher longer. You can open a box and it’ll won’t oxidize like bottled wine. No more wasting wine. While individual households will find benefit in this feature, restaurants and bars will benefit even more. With the boxed wine, businesses can reduce costs and lower their carbon footprint because they won’t be tossing out half open bottles of wine anymore because they’ve oxidized or because they’ve passed the best-before date that’s stamped on them.
While wine snobs across the United States may turn their nose up at boxed wine, I think it is great. Its eco-friendly packaging is helping to save the planet. I’ll drink to that.