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The Future of Wine Might Be Flat Plastic Bottles

Flat bottles are lighter and fit more per carton than standard bottles, making shipping more sustainable.

by Bettina Makalintal
Mar 1 2019, 3:00pm

Photo Courtesy Garçon Wines

In its current shape, a wine bottle might often find itself a replacement for a rolling pin. (Broke Millennials might be understocked in the kitchen, but we’re not without our booze.) Its base makes a decent template the next time you need to draw a perfect circle for a pentagram or whatever. Some people, I hear, even use a wine bottle to target muscle knots instead of a foam roller.

These are all things you cannot do if an idea by Garçon Wines catches on—that idea being the flat wine bottle. Since 2017, Garçon has been making a flattened bottle that looks like a flask with an extended neck, filled with wine that comes in standard merlot and sauvignon blanc. Though Garçon’s wine has mostly been a novelty one-off, the company is now scaling up, according to the The Guardian, and just launched a carton that can hold ten of its flat, plastic bottles.

Uh, great, you might think. Whatever. But the company says the design is more than just a gimmick, and that changing a wine bottle’s shape and material could have a positive environmental impact. Garçon’s bottles get rid of the dead space in typical wine cases; one carton can hold ten flat wine bottles versus four traditional bottles. And Garçon also states that its flat, recycled plastic bottles are 87 percent lighter than a traditional bottle. According to The Guardian, that shaves off about 500 grams in carbon emissions per bottle. Overall, Garçon’s flat wine bottles could mean lower transportation costs and fewer emissions compared to traditional wine cases.

The flat wine bottles are not without their squished siblings when it comes to entrepreneurs experimenting with reshaping food products. Japanese farmers have been making square watermelons since the 1980s in an attempt to make the unwieldy fruit easier to ship and store. Those fruit, however, remain more expensive than you probably want to spend on a snack.

Think of the flat wine bottle as an added perk for your nights as a host. You might not know anything about wine or grape varietals or tasting notes, but you might as well offer up a little environmental info while you glug down adult grape juice. Everyone is sick of the merlot commentary you jacked from Sideways, anyway.