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  • Writer's pictureLucie

Sustainability Shifts in Spirits

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

As the world faces a global challenge in climate change, we're working harder than ever across all industries to find solutions. Whether it's making use of previously considered "waste" materials or ensuring we're minimising production wherever possible, all angles are being examined. And the spirits world is no different. Everyone from the big players, like Diageo, to start-ups across the country are looking at how to do things better.

I had the pleasure of starting 2023 by supporting Penrhos Spirits' transition to new bespoke, custom-made aluminium bottles. Fully recyclable, reusable and refillable and widely considered now to be the best of the options for spirits on the market today. So why aren't more people putting their gin where the aluminium is?

Firstly, it's not easy. This has been a long project for Penrhos Spirits, working hard to source the right team to help craft the bottle size required. And even when the right supplier is found, there aren't mass solutions at the moment that fit for everyone. The bottles then need to undergo rigorous testing to ensure they're fit for purpose. All of this is time consuming and difficult to do at scale, even with huge investment behind a brand. It's even more challenging for smaller players to step up to the mark.

Secondly, the big question is, are consumers ready? Before moving into aluminium, we conducted a (very small) scale survey to see what would nudge consumers into taking the step towards aluminium. The biggest blocker it seems, is understanding. It's hard to imagine looking at aluminium bottles of gin on the shelf when we're used to seeing glass. Many gin fanatics these days also love to collect the glass bottles and have shelves full of them, or repurpose for candles and so on. But we also saw that when consumers were told it was a more sustainable option, it quickly became an easy choice.

Thirdly, the awareness around glass not being hugely sustainable is still quite low. When you consider it's recyclable, it doesn't feel wasteful. But the energy required to product and recycle glass is far greater than used to create aluminium. Furthermore, the Penrhos bottles are actually made from 100% recycled aluminium, positively contributing to the material loop.

For Penrhos, already making use of the wibbly wobbly fruit on the farm to make their gin, this was a natural step. I worked with the team to craft new copy for the updated packaging that reflects the brand's future mission to take more sustainable steps and to communicate to consumers why aluminium is a perfect choice.

Take a look at the (in my opinion, beautiful) new bottles here.

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