Wine bottles: Reusable instead of recycled

Global blueprint for wine bottle reuse at upcoming winefair in London.

The London Wine Fair 2023 is launching a wine bottle collecting and reuse initiative in partnership with The Porto Protocol Foundation and Sustainable Wine Solutions. At the wine fair, which takes place in May, the approximately 30,000 waste glass bottles that are generated will be categorised and the results summarised in a report. These are to be incorporated into corresponding future programmes.

Vienna, 2 May 2023

A press release of The Porto Protocol Foundation, LWT and SWS

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How many different types of wine bottle are actually in use? What prevents a bottle from being reused? This is the million-dollar question that a three-way partnership between The Porto Protocol Foundation, London Wine Fair and Sustainable Wine Solutions (SWS) hopes to answer. The LWF23 Bottle Collection Initiative, the first edition of a yearly initiative at the London Wine Fair and this year from 15 to 17 may, will categorise all waste bottles collected at the show according to bottle type, label and country. A post-event report, which will be the most comprehensive research into wine bottle reuse to date, will be published based on these results and help catalyse reuse bottle schemes by showing the number of bottle types in use; how many were reusable; and if they were not reusable, identify why.

The Porto Protocol, whose mission is to accelerate climate action in the wine world, jointly with SWS – the UK experts in wine bottle return - challenged LWF to platform this initiative. Although there are many instances when the bottle could be replaced by alternative formats, the glass bottle will still be around for years to come. However, the manufacturing of bottles is the single biggest contributor to carbon emissions within the wine industry.

Data base. An estimated 30,000 bottles (based on the number of the exhibitors, Bottlebooks data on the number of wines exhibitors upload and the number of bottles we recommend exhibitors provide per wine) will be collected during the three days of The Fair, which will generate significant data. Using the LWF waste as its benchmark, the report aims to bring awareness to the challenges facing the reuse supply chain and to measure progress year on year.

Reusable instead of recycling. Recycling is no longer the preferred option for glass bottles going forward. In the UK alone there is a 70% recycling rate, meaning 30% of wine bottles end up in landfill. Several of Europe’s leading wine producing countries have already passed laws and initiated measures to encourage and enforce bottle reuse [please see Notes to Editors for more detail]. And it is expected that other countries will follow suit, so it is vital that producers understand how to manage this globally. Furthermore, resource scarcity and rising inflation since the start of the War in Ukraine, is putting significant pressure on producers. Within this context, reusing bottles makes financial sense and is an additional catalyst to environmental concerns.

Hannah Tovey, Head of London Wine Fair: “Sustainability is the central theme for this year’s show and we are delighted to be platforming so many discussions, tastings and launches with a green agenda. The LWF23 Bottle Collection initiative takes this to another level, creating a practical solution for the circular economy. We are delighted to be the launch pad and look forward to seeing the resulting report and a roll out of the scheme to subsequent events around the world.”

Adrian Bridge, CEO, The Porto Protocol: “This is a pioneering initiative that demonstrates the leadership role that the wine industry is taking on climate change issues. At the Porto Protocol we highlight the initiatives that members are involved in with the aim of raising awareness and promoting change through providing case studies of solutions that work. The fact that legislation regarding packaging is being implemented and that the time frames are short – most government targets are 2030 – it is time to think hard about what the wine industry is doing and can do.”

Muriel Chatel, Managing Director, SWS: “We believe that all bottles should be reusable, but if we want to bring change it is important to know what we are dealing with. How many bottles are actually in use? No one knows. We are hoping that by gathering and sharing data from one of the biggest wine fairs in the world, will spring the industry from ambition into action and head down the road to standardisation.”

Key country status
• In November 2020, Austria introduced binding quotas for the proportion of reusable packaging sold in retail, starting with a requirement of 25% in 2025 to at least 30% by 2030.

• In April 2022, France saw a law passed which stipulates that by the end of 2027, 10% of bottles from producers with a production of over 10,000 bottles will have to be reused; this is an incremental target with some producers required to reach 5% by the end of 2023.

Portugal has amended its law to state by 2030, 30% of all packaging put on the market, of any material, must be reusable.

Romania has included a 5% annual reusable packaging increase until 2025 (reaching a minimum of 25% by 2025) in their ordinance policy.

Spain has drafted a national decree, that would make significant leaps forward by outlining several reuse propositions; one of them being beverage reuse quotas in the hospitality
sector (HORECA) for water, beer, juices and soft drinks, as well as a general beverage packaging reuse target for domestic consumption at home. Spanish regions Navarra and the Balearic Islands have had progressive beverage reuse packaging laws since 2018.

London Wine Fair
15 to 17 May 2023

Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX

Porto Protocol seminar „The Climate Bottle of the Future is Reusable”
Wednesday, 17 May, 12 am
Centre Stage, London Wine Fair
Porto Protocol stand: DZ14, The Discovery Zone

Further inquiries:
Sylvia Petz | Regional representative northern Europe of Porto Protocol
Agency for organized enjoyment
Gumpendorfer Strasse 16/8, 1060 Vienna, Austria
Email:, Tel. +43 699 1100 8040

Marta Mendonça | Porto Protocol
Email:, Tel. +351 932 160 185

Muriel Chatel | Sustainable Wine Solutions