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When I was younger, wine came in a glass bottle, and—outside of a few value-priced boxed options—that was that. But now, quality wine comes in all sorts of packaging: boxes, cans, pouches, even slim wine bottles that can fit through a mail slot. Of course, the bottle is still king—but even that classic container isn’t beyond innovation. The British company Frugalpac has just launched a standard-sized wine bottle made mostly out of recycled paper.

The Frugal Bottle is a 750 milliliter bottle “made from 94 percent recycled paperboard with a food-grade liner to hold the wine or spirit,” according to Frugalpac. Not only is it “comparable in cost to a labelled glass bottle,” but it can also “be refrigerated and keeps the liquid cooler for longer.”

Naturally, the company offers an environmental pitch, as well. “Our mission is to design, develop and supply sustainable packaging. The Frugal Bottle is up to five times lighter than a glass bottle, has a carbon footprint up to six times lower and is easy to recycle again,” explained Frugalpac chief executive Malcolm Waugh. “We’ve had fantastic feedback from people who’ve trialed the Frugal Bottle. As well as the superior environmental benefits, it looks and feels like no other bottle you have ever seen.”

Digging into the specifics, a Frugal Bottle weighs about 3 ounces, whereas burgundy bottles can weigh about a pound. Additionally, Frugalpac says that beyond offering a carbon footprint that is 84 percent lower than a glass bottle, it’s also “more than a third less than a bottle made from 100 paper recycled plastic,” with a “water footprint is also at least four times lower than glass.” And, yes, the paper bottle is easy to recycle—because the liner inside is removable: “Simply separate the plastic food-grade liner from the paper bottle and put them in your respective recycling bins.”

“Frugalpac’s business model is to supply Frugal Bottle machines for wine producers or packaging companies to manufacture the bordeaux bottles on their site, cutting carbon emissions even further,” Waugh added. “Materials can be purchased locally through existing paperboard printers to give maximum freedom of design and the best commercial offering.”

Digging into the specifics, a Frugal Bottle weighs about 3 ounces, whereas ice wine bottles can weigh about a pound. Additionally, Frugalpac says that beyond offering a carbon footprint that is 84 percent lower than a glass bottle, it’s also “more than a third less than a bottle made from 100 paper recycled plastic,” with a “water footprint is also at least four times lower than glass.” And, yes, the paper bottle is easy to recycle—because the liner inside is removable: “Simply separate the plastic food-grade liner from the paper bottle and put them in your respective recycling bins.”

For many of us wine drinkers, our first conscious act towards saving the planet was to separate champagne bottles from the rest of our rubbish. It made us feel pretty good, even though most of us were — and continue to be — shockingly ignorant about what then happens to them.

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