Bottle rightweighting - a process of packaging design and production to optimise packaging weight, whilst taking into account the requirements of all stakeholders in the supply chain, including manufacturers, brand owners, fillers, retailers, consumers and the environment.

Glassrite - Beer Cider and Spirits, a WRAP funded project delivered by Glass Technology Services, ran from January 2007 to March 2008.

This project supported the supply chain for the beer, cider and spirits sectors in rightweighting the bottles they used. The project successfully met and surpassed its target to remove 20,000 tonnes per year from the UK waste stream, and supported the development of a culture in which rightweighting is a central consideration in bottle re-design.

The drive for packaging reduction

There is considerable drive in the UK to reduce the amount of packaging consumed across all sectors. This is embodied in the EU Packaging Waste Directive, and at a more local level, the Government Waste Strategy, the activities of WRAP and its Courtauld Commitment, and Envirowise. Drivers include reduced raw material consumption, a reduction in waste to landfill and associated carbon emission savings.

However, beyond the environmental arguments, there is a strong business case for packaging reduction due to the cost savings, process efficiencies, and marketing possibilities it offers to the supply chain. This can be achieved either through engineering out unnecessary elements of packaging, or as is the case here, rightweighting one element of the total packaging solution.

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