Wine Industry Screws Environment

Manufacturing aluminium screwcaps
Manufacturing aluminium screwcaps

The increase in winemakers stuffing-up the environment, and off-loading reductive wines on customers seems to be on the up. According to Jamie Goode, screwcaps now boast a 15% share of the world’s closure market. Writing in Decanter,, Goode states Italian closure company Guala claims global screwcap sales have increased by 25% in the past year to 2.5 billion closures. Anne Seznec of Guala said recent growth had come from Europe, which is regarded as a tough market for alternative closures. ‘We’ve seen a lot of growth in France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy,’ said Seznec. ‘Screwcap sales have been growing much faster than we’d thought, since the end of 2006.’

We agree with Guala that the wine screw cap market size globally is about 2.5 bn closures’, said a spokesperson for Nomacorc, a leading synthetic cork producer. ‘Synthetics represent 4 bn closures’, they added.

Carlos de Jesus, marketing and communications director of cork giant Amorim, suggested these figures were an over-estimate, and put current screwcap sales at 1.7 bn. He believes sales of both screwcaps and natural cork will increase in coming years at the expense of synthetic corks.

According to Seznec’s estimates, European screwcap sales top one billion. The Australian and New Zealand wine industry use 800m screwcaps every year while Argentina and Chile account for 250m screwcap sales. ‘There was fantastic growth in Argentina last year,’ says Seznec, ‘which surprised us.’

This is, of course terrible news for the environment. An independent study done last year by PricewaterhouseCoopers/Ecobilan found that CO2 emissions from aluminium screwcaps are 26 times higher than the emissions from cork stoppers. Those from,plastic stoppers are 10 times higher.

The short-sightedness of producers sticking to screw-caps ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ and consumers buying them ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ refutes claims that the world as a whole is becoming more environmentally aware.

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