Wine bottles have been recycled for years, but now there’s an even better option for those focused on protecting the environment.
A company called Wine Bottle Renew is gearing up to offer a wine bottle washing service – a process that investors say will save 95 percent of a bottle’s carbon footprint.
The practice of reusing wine bottles is fairly common in Europe, but the concept has never caught on in the United States. Wine Bottle Renew hopes to change that, and this month plans to wash the first of 200,000 cases of used bottles at a plant in Stockton, Calif., formerly occupied by Del Monte.
Within five years, the company hopes to be washing 2.5 million cases per year.
The benefits extend beyond environmental in nature. Used-and-washed bottles will sell for about 40 percent less than new bottles, lowering overhead for wineries. Whether a price break will be realized at the consumer level remains to be seen.
Among the investors in the $3.5 million start-up are Jackson Family Wines, Trinchero Family Estates and Luna Vineyards.