In recent years, wineries and winemakers have become increasingly aware of the environmental impact wine production and distribution has on the environment. Many companies are now changing farming practices to become more climate friendly and are thinking about sustainability in packaging and distribution. However, the weight of wine bottles, which accounts for 29% of wine’s carbon footprint, is still one of the biggest issues facing the industry.
I recently spoke with Ron Rubin of Ron Rubin Winery, Sonoma County Vintner and founder of BLUE BIN, to learn more about the launch of the brand’s new 100% recyclable wine bottles and how others in the wine industry can join the trend. connect.
Ron told me how BLUE BIN is the first premium wine packaged in a 750ml bottle made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) plastic and that these bottles are smaller and lighter than conventional bottles, unbreakable and fully recyclable. A veteran of the wine industry, Ron also shared his journey and reason behind the creation of BLUE BIN and the state of the wine industry.
Christopher Marquis: Tell us about the inspiration behind the Blue Bin brand? Where does the name Blue Bin come from?
Ron Rubin: There were a number of inspirations behind the BLUE BIN brand. As a Certified B Corporation, one of the pillars of the area of impact is prioritizing and caring for the planet, to which the Ron Rubin Winery is committed.
After some research, we found out that the weight of wine glass bottles alone (from 420 grams to 850 grams) accounts for 29% of the carbon footprint of wine, so finding a solution to reduce the carbon footprint was a motivating factor – the bottle weight of BLUE BIN is 52 grams.
In addition, I read a study from Sonoma State University that showed that 90% of all wine is consumed within a week or two of purchase, so we felt there had to be a better alternative to traditional glass wine packaging that would be better for the environment and perfect for most wine drinkers who drink a bottle within two weeks.
The inspiration behind the name came to me last summer as I drove to our winery on Route 116 (Gravenstein Highway) outside of Sebastopol, and I saw all the blue recycling bins on the road ready for pickup that day. While exploring alternative bottles to reduce the waste of traditional wine bottles, we discovered that we could make a 100% rPET bottle, knowing that blue bins are where all the recycled material comes from to produce rPET , BLUE BIN felt like the perfect name.
Marquis: What was the process like to make a 100% recyclable bottle from 100% recycled content? What distinguishes the bottle?
Rub in: We partnered with Amcor, the global leader in responsible packaging solutions, to create the BLUE BIN bottle – the first wine bottle in the US made from 100% recycled materials. BLUE BIN would not have been launched without Amcor’s leadership, support and collaboration. This was a pleasant collaboration and learning experience for everyone.
With BLUE BIN’s unique bottle, we hope to inspire more wineries to stop buying glass bottles weighing more than 420 grams and to consider using 100% recycled PET wine bottles for wines they produce that are sold by the winery shortly after purchase. consumer are consumed. .
Marquis: How can other wine brands follow in Blue Bin’s footsteps to create a more sustainable + planet-friendly wine industry? Do you have any recommendations for wineries looking to become B Corps?
Rub in: More wineries need to be open to using some sort of alternative packaging (rPET, aluminum, lightweight glass) for wine in their business. By being aware of packaging and what is better for the planet, a more sustainable and planet-friendly wine industry is created.
My recommendation for wineries seeking to become B Corp certified is to JOIN the movement to be part of a global community of companies that meet high standards of social and environmental impact while committed to continuous improvement. Small steps can help our planet and by taking those steps as soon as possible you can contribute to a better future for people and planet.
But the process was time consuming, difficult and exciting at the same time. It took us 651 days from start to finish. I don’t think more wineries have embarked on this journey because of the commitment to transparency and rigid scores on 5 impact areas in the B impact assessment (employees, environment, governance, customers, community), all of which are pillars that Ron Rubin Winery is proud of Unpleasant.
Marquis: The wine industry has been hit hard by climate change, be it fires or drought. What does the future of wine look like and why is it important that consumers take action to drink more sustainably?
Rub in: The future of wine can look bright as long as winemakers and consumers work together to make positive, planet-friendly decisions when making and buying wine. As we know, the wine industry can have huge impacts on the environment, from packaging to farming practices. Along with BLUE BIN, there have been many wineries and advocates speaking out about ways to make the industry better for the planet, including packaging, which we know is responsible for 29% of the industry’s carbon footprint.
For consumers, a good first step is to do their research and find and purchase planet-friendly alternative packaging to enjoy the wine they love with less impact on planet Earth.