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You can now crack open a whole bottle on a hike, just like you've always wanted.

Mike Pomranz
January 19, 2018

We can be honest with ourselves: The glass wine bottle is more about tradition than logic. Glass is heavy. It’s breakable. And though it’s recyclable, the bottle’s weight and shape come with its own carbon footprint issues. Glass wine bottles clearly have a few problems—but is one of them that glass makes it a pain to take wine on a hike? And would that finally convince you to try out wine sold in a plastic bottle?

Yesterday, packaging giant Amcor announced it would be showcasing its line of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic wine bottles at next week’s Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. Though the lighter, less breakable packaging is often touted for its environmental benefits, this time around, Amcor took another, somewhat odd approach, pushing plastic wine bottles as an option for the active wine drinker.

“People want to enjoy wine more casually, no longer holding it for special occasions or to simply be enjoyed with dinner,” Amcor’s Beth Rettig said in a statement. “Consumers are active and living on-the-go lifestyles. They are taking wine with them when they hike, hit the beach, and visit friends. Amcor’s PET bottles are a lightweight and durable solution for consumers’ increasing demands.”

This “active” drinker strategy has worked before: It was a major part of the push to convince people to ditch beer bottles for cans. A common refrain was that canned beer was great for the pool or a boat where shattered glass would be a nuisance. Cans were also billed as being easier to toss into a backpack. Of course, cans have other benefits too, but discussing the problems of light exposure just doesn’t have the same pizazz.

Grabbing a 12-ounce beer on the go, however, is much different than cracking open an entire bottle of wine on a hike. Still, Oregon’s Naked Winery, which uses Amcor’s plastic bottles, pitched that exact idea. “We know our customers well. They lead active, outdoor lifestyles,” Becky Williams, marketing and brand manager for Naked Winery, said. “We believe that if you’re in the middle of an outdoor adventure you should absolutely be able to enjoy a great bottle of wine.” Hopefully you remembered to pack your plastic wine glasses!

Plastic wine bottles certainly have their functional benefits. About a year ago, we discussed Garcon Wines, a mail delivery wine service that uses a flat plastic wine bottle to slide wine through customer’s mail slots without breaking. (Pretty cool!) And as mentioned above, plastic bottles have other inherent benefits over glass ones – like weighing about a ninth less. But are glass wine bottles really throwing a wrench in your active lifestyle? Maybe try taking a long walk to think about it. Bring a plastic bottle of wine with you.

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