Packamama is the newly established climate tech packaging business, spun off to encompass the packaging elements from sustainable wine packaging start-up Garçon Wines, offering packaging protecting Mother Earth. Believing in the far-reaching opportunity that packaging brings to be a force for good, Packamama is on a mission to help create a low carbon future in the drinks industry. They’re starting with better wine bottles: multi-award winning, IP-protected eco-flat bottles that save space, weight and energy to slash carbon emissions. This tackles the wine industry’s carbon footprint hotspot of round, glass bottles. Writing in Decanter, celebrated wine writer, Andrew Jefford, stated, ‘no single action would make more difference [to decarbonisation] in the wine world than the swift adoption of bottles like this’.
Called “groundbreaking” by Jancis Robinson MW OBE, eco-flat bottles are enabling advancement in the wine industry by slashing carbon footprint and offering unbeatable supply chain efficiencies. These efficiencies are made possible thanks to the bottles’ flat shape to save space and being made entirely from 100% recycled PET to save weight and energy and contribute to circular economies.
These improvements mean the bottle itself is 40% more spatially efficient and 87% lighter than a traditional round, glass wine bottle. Being flat, the bottles pack like books and in some instances can fit up to 91% more product on a standard UK pallet. Recyclability is fundamental to the design and the bottle is fully, easily and widely recyclable after use.
Importantly, eco-flat bottles respect the heritage and tradition of the wine industry as the smart cross-section design conforms to the traditional Bordeaux wine bottle shape that consumers know and love. A bottle that is beautiful stands the best chance of becoming the dominant packaging format for mass-market wines, the vast majority of wines.
Recycled PET has no impact on the taste of wine. However, the material offers only a moderate barrier to oxygen, so a barrier technology is used in the bottles to extend shelf-life past what is expected from PET alone, to between 17-21 months.
Packamama’s mission is to help safeguard the health of our planet through offering innovative climate tech packaging. Within the wine industry, they address the carbon footprint hotspot – traditional round, glass wine bottles. The industry is more vulnerable than most to global warming and climate disasters and urgent action is needed to help safeguard the industry for future generations.
A bottle with superior shape and best-in-class material choices help slash greenhouse gas emissions. Packamama works with industry leaders and pioneers in the wine industry and beyond to achieve better with the target to help slash carbon emissions to help tackle climate crisis.
SDG’S (Sustainable Development Goal):
Eco-flat wine bottles principally address and contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption & production
SDG 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Eco-flat bottles exist to help reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, to help safeguard the future of the industry in an era of climate crisis. To address the packaging and transport carbon footprint hotspot in wine, some companies opt for more lightweight glass wine bottles. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough. According to the AWRI, lightweighting glass bottles from 500g to 330g, only results in a maximum carbon emission saving of 15%. The eco-flat bottle weighs just 63g therefore enabling far greater impact.
Using a best-in-class material like 100% recycled PET is an efficient use of resources, putting pre-existing material back into circulation to contribute to circular economies. This wonder material also limits the creation of virgin PET, eliminating the need to extract fossil fuels so carbon can stay below ground, where it needs to stay. The material’s lightweight quality reduces carbon emissions produced during transportation.
Wine is a global product that travels vast distances across the world and when it comes to traditional round glass wine bottles, they are a 19th century product technology which is no longer fit for purpose in a 21st century world with economic and environmental complexities.
The innovation is a benchmark example of triple bottom line sustainability for happier consumers, a wealthier industry and a healthier planet, addressing SDGs 12 and 13 directly.
Packamama has worked with numerous business customers who have sold brands in eco-flat bottles into a variety of diverse sales channels such as supermarket retail, gifting, global travel retail and events.
They have most extensively collaborated with Accolade Wines, the UK’s number one wine company, who have been pioneers in adopting eco-flat bottles. As a result of this collaboration, Accolade Wines’ brands have been sold in eco-flat bottles across the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and South Africa.
Packamama collaborates with industry leading supply partners in local markets, such as Berry M&H and The Park in the UK, to provide a top-quality packaging supply and bottling solution.
At the point of launching Packamama in Q1 2022, a major landmark was reached as the company reached 1 million eco-flat bottles sold. This milestone puts 63 tonnes of pre-existing PET plastic (the weight of ~11 elephants) back into the circular economy and has hugely helped in contributing to reducing wine’s emissions.
The eco-flat bottle innovation has featured positively in over 900 pieces of media coverage and won and/or been selected as a finalist for over 35 individual awards. Most recently, the innovation was given a Special Mention in TIME’s Best Inventions 2021 celebrating inventions ‘making the world better, smarter, and a bit more fun’.
A fundamental part of Packamama is dedication to consistent R&D to ensure the use of best-in-class materials, recyclability and practices. Many improvements to the design have been made along the way to get to the product currently in the market. For instance, using 100% recycled material was important to the team who were in fact the first to use 100% rPET for the application.
The original design of the eco-flat bottle used an aluminium cap. When soon realising that this risked negatively impacting the recycling process, Packamama switched to supplying bottles with PP caps which could pass through the same recycling stream as the bottle.
Potential For Replication:
Packamama’s portfolio of flat bottle designs benefits from IP protection across 35 countries. To commercialise the packaging and maximise its positive impact through widespread adoption, Packamama has chosen to supply eco-flat bottles and filling to wine companies across the world. With other design formats in the pipeline for a range of beverages, the wider drinks industry will also be able to benefit from more efficient, planet-friendly packaging.
In the last couple of years, the company has secured significant investment to progress the eco-flat bottle innovation’s reach multinationally as Packamama expands to be fully operational in both Australia and the USA as well as the UK. With this expansion, launches of new and existing wine brands in eco-flat bottles will be taking place in both markets. Packamama is exploring exciting projects using game-changing new materials such as Prevented Ocean Plastic and bioplastics that likewise offer a lower carbon footprint solution. With passionate teams in the UK, USA and Australia, Packamama is highly motivated to help the wine industry make a positive difference to the health of our planet.