Champagne industry introduces eco-friendly bottles
September 20, 2010
Have you ever pondered your carbon footprint while sipping that expensive glass of bubbly? While you might not have given it any thought, the Champagne industry has been busy redesigning the classic bottle to make it more eco-friendly. Champagne bottles have always been hefty in order to withstand the pressure of bubbles, weighing in at an average of 900 grams. But all of that poundage is heavy on the environment: the Champagne industry is responsible for producing about 730,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to the United States Champagne Bureau.
This is about to change with the introduction of a new, lighter bottle, which is made from 65 grams (2.3 ounces) less glass and which will effectively trim emissions by 8,000 metric tons each year. It's equivalent of taking 4,000 small cars off of the road annually, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne reports. Following a 2002 environmental impact assessment, the committee has been working with French glass to ensure that the new design is mechanically sound and can stand up to the pressure of the bubbles.
This is a big step for an industry rooted in tradition. The bottle design has been virtually untouched since the late 1600s, according to the United States Champagne Bureau. However, several grand houses are already on board. Moët & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot and Vranken-Pommery Monopole are among the companies to have switched to a lighter bottle. The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne has recommended that all Champagne houses begin using the new bottles by April 2011, with the goal of cutting carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 75 percent by 2050.