Wolf Blass Wine in P.E.T. Bottles
Oh, the sacrifices we make for TreeHugger. We normally drink local Ontario wines to support local producers and cut down the carbon footprint of what we eat and drink, but had to break down and try the new Wolf Blass Bilyara Reserve, packaged in PET and supposedly generating 80% less waste than glass. To its shame, our Government owned Liquor Control Board does not do deposits and bottle returns, and while our municipalities recycle, coloured glass can only be "downcycled" (to use Bill McDonough's term) into lower grade products. PET can be recycled into lots of things so it is possibly better than glass, and certainly better than the tetrapak alternative the LCBO flogs as well. It also is much lighter and therefore uses less fuel to ship around the world from Australia. We are pleased to report that the bottle was smaller, lighter and easier to transport by boat to our sinful second home. The wine isn't bad, either, although drinking wine from halfway around the world still leaves a bad taste in our mouths when alternatives are made a hundred miles away. Interestingly, we learn from an Australian website that it was not developed to save the world, but for sale at sporting events in Britain, where evidently people do nasty things with glass bottles. Trust the marketing geniuses at the LCBO to promote the environmental benefits of this wine with a 10 page glossy brochure, which includes the word "unbreakable" -the Globe and Mail decided to test this, copied below the fold.
When we saw the new Wolf Blass P.E.T. bottles described as "unbreakable" in the promo material, we knew we had to put the claim to the test.
First, we dropped a bottle from waist height while walking. It was fine. Then we kicked it, stepped on it, threw it down stairs and beat it with a hammer. The bottle was dented, the label was torn and the screw cap was bashed in, but it was in one piece.
Next, we threw it off a one-storey railing. No problems! Then we tossed it off a two-storey roof. And that's when the fun ended. The bottom shattered. Unbreakable? Not quite.