By its very nature, the world of wine is a bit old-fashioned. The prized bottles of today are the product of past ideas, and consumers won’t experience the results of today’s innovations for at least a few years from now. Add in wine’s centuries-long association with luxury and you have the recipe for an industry that almost never tries to reinvent the wheel.
But if London’s Garcon Wines have their way, the wine bottle as we know it might never be the same again. Just in time for the holiday drinking/gifting season, they’ve ditched round, glass wine bottles in favor of a flatter, more lightweight, and spatially efficient design produced using recycled materials. And in case you’re worried, yes, they still hold the same amount as a “normal” bottle of wine would.
For consumers, the unorthodox shape serves a practical purpose: getting wine into your home more easily. According to the Daily Mail. Garcon specifically designed the bottles to fit “through an average UK letterbox” so that a bottle can still be delivered even when a customer isn’t home. The company estimates that failed deliveries effectively waste £1.6 billion in the UK while also collectively producing almost one million kilos of carbon emissions.
Watch: It's Mulled Wine Season—Here's How to Make It
The bottle itself, which Forbes describes as “the biggest advance in wine packaging in the last 200 years” is designed to cut down on emissions as well. Made from reused PET plastic, the recyclable bottle is a full 87 percent lighter than a normal wine bottle. The end result is wine “packaging” that reduces CO2 emissions by 500 grams per bottle throughout Garcon’s supply chain. You’d have to reuse and recycle a normal glass wine bottle 20 times before it generated the same kind of reduction in carbon footprint.
Garcon’s bottles are such a novel idea that they’ve even won the support of a foremost expert on all things planet earth: nature historian Sir David Attenborough. The Daily Mail says Attenborough sent the company a letter of congratulations, stating “I can see its advantage if it is manufactured from pre-existing plastic, and with the additional saving of energy from weight reduction, and I wish you every success with it.”
As of now, Garcon’s flat bottles contain varieties like Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, as well as a rosé from Spain. Each retails for £13.99 in the UK, which proves you don’t have to break the bank to get drunk AND help the planet. Here’s hoping that some stateside wine labels follow their lead.