What is the most eco friendly packaging for wine?

I love taking part in the weekly ‘Change the World Wednesday’ challenge set on Reduce Footprints.

With the festive season coming rapidly down the track, we were challenged to find the most eco friendly way to serve drinks this Christmas.

And what our host wrote surprised me.

She said “While boxed wine may not look classy, it is the most earth-friendly of wine packaging options.”

This got me investigating the wine shelves next time I was out.

I discovered that you can indeed buy wine in cardboard boxes – the wine itself is contained within a bag inside the cardboard box.

So I was intrigued to find out what the bag was made from.

I was imagining a thick polythene bag which could be recycled with the carrier bags in some supermarkets.

But sadly I was not in luck.

The bags inside these cardboard boxes looked like composite material; a bit like a large, thin crisp packet.

So I came home and did some more research and was excited to discover a You Tube video called “How To Recycle Boxed Wine Packaging / Bag-In-Box ”

I knew my answer was here.

The video is only 49 seconds long and involves separating the bag from the cardboard box, recycling the cardboard then recycling the bag.

Oh wait, did she mention you could recycle the bag where Number 7 recycling facilities exist?

Well that would be nowhere in the UK then…


So I contacted a manufacturer or boxed wine, who put this un helpful information on their packaging:


Their response was even MORE unhelpful because they didn’t get back to me.

While boxed wine could be really eco friendly if we could recycle the bags, it looks like the UK may need to catch up.

I’ll hand it to the Co-Op, they seem to be giving a more honest picture about recycling the packaging from their boxed wines:


But there is another way to package wine which is lightweight, robust and easy to stack and transport due to its shape!

Did you know you could buy wine in Tetra Pak containers AND that these containers are easier to recycle than you might think?

Again, it might not be the prettiest of things to have on your dinner table, but apparently Jamie Oliver uses wine in Tetra Pak cartons in his restaurants around the country, so if it’s good enough for him…

At the moment 91% of UK local authorities offer carton recycling, while 60% of the total of local authorities collect cartons from peoples homes at the kerbside.

Don’t believe me? Click here or on the map below to find your local Tetra Pak recycling facility:


I urge you to try out the map. A few years ago there were no facilities near my home; now I have a bring bank just three miles away, so the map is worth coming back to again and again.

What about you – can you recycle Tetra Pak cartons locally and what do you think is the most eco friendly way to package wine?

Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. Ilovecats on December 23, 2014 at 9:34 am

    This is really interesting, thanks for raising this topic – so timely too as we’re all buying wine for Christmas. You’ve really got me thinking outside the (wine) box and that’s what I love most about this site – you talk about the stuff other people don’t bother with and get me thinking about my choices.

    • Rachelle Strauss on January 8, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Thanks Ilovecats; hope you had a lovely christmas!

  2. Jen on December 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I don’t think that boxed wine is the most eco friendly – how can it be when you can’t even recycle the inner bits? Ok so its lightweight which is good but you still have to throw away the bag. I’ll be sticking with glass. I like tetrpak wine but you cant get it in many places so your limited about what you can drink. More wine in cartons please!

  3. Megan on December 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Fantastic! I’ve just found out there are recycling places at my local Waitrose and Sainsburys – result! now to find the wine in cartons — that might be a bit more tricky. I’ve never seen it anywhere, where can u get it?

    • Rachelle Strauss on January 8, 2015 at 10:02 am

      I’ve only seen it once or twice but I do live in the sticks. Perhaps some of the larger supermarkets stock it…

  4. matty on January 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

    We’re getting kerbside recycling in the summer. Can’t wait – at the moment we have to travel a long way to put them in a bring banka nd I have to admit they sometimes end up in the bin. Especially when I’ve made a special trip and the recycling is overflowing. They need to be emptied more often Grrr

    • Rachelle Strauss on January 8, 2015 at 10:01 am

      I get annoyed when the banks are overflowing too, but there is a number on there you can call. Great you are getting kerbside collections in the summer!

  5. Recyclingme on January 8, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Result! I found out I can recycle cartons near me so that’s good. Less waste for the bin. I give my kids small cartons of juice in there lunchboxes. I think wine in boxes sound like a great idea if we can recycle the inner bag I’d definitely use them as I think there the best for the environment

    • Rachelle Strauss on January 8, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Glad you’ve found somewhere near you to recycle the cartons and let’s hope something comes online for wine boxes soon.

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