Major spirits manufacturer Diageo has collaborated with glass manufacturer Encirc on a process that could create the most environmentally sustainable glass whisky bottles ever.
The collaboration, in partnership with research body Glass Futures, could potentially reduce the carbon footprint of making whisky bottles by up to 90 per cent, according to Diageo themselves.
Most of the saving comes from using 100 per cent recycled glass and swapping the fuel used from the furnaces from fossil fuels to waste-based biofuel.
In their trial, 173,000 bottles of their Black & White bottles were produced and this batch became the most environmentally-friendly produced bottles of Scotch ever produced.
The project is funded in part by the UK Government’s Energy Innovation Programme, which uses funds generated by the tax on whisky to explore the best ways to move glass manufacturing away from high-carbon fuels towards biofuels and other ecologically friendly sources.
The next step for Diageo, Encirc and Glass Futures is to further build upon the results of the trial and ensure what was achieved with those 173,000 bottles can be achieved at a much larger scale over the course of a ten-year partnership.
Glass is among the most sustainable types of packaging, as it can be easily crushed into cullet and melted back down into new glass products, which itself uses significantly less fuel than creating new glass with silica, soda ash and lime.
Every metric ton of glass that is recycled stops 315kg of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.