On Notcot, there was an interesting blurb about French Rabbit wines, who promote themselves as eco-friendly, environmentally conscious, and all about sustainability. They are making a strong push (and an effective one) to come off as eco-friendly and sustainable, but it’s interesting that they’re using Tetra Pak containers. Boxed wines are certainly one of the new trends in the food & beverage industry, so making the shift to accepting box wines is just a matter of time. The more interesting and problematic issue is the use of Tetra Pak itself. While being touted as 100% recyclable, the layers of plastic, paper, and metal that are used in the production of Tetra Pak makes recycling prohibitively expensive – so much so that it rarely gets recycled, making glass entirely more recycled. So in the end, French Rabbit comes out looking entirely sustainable and ec0-friendly, while the packaging – in reality – isn’t quite there yet. It may have sustainability factors and efficient for transportation, but the number of processes outside of French Rabbit’s hands makes the benefits almost negligible.
I’m not saying what French Rabbit is attempting is bad, wrong, questionable, or anything else. I’m merely wondering what decisions get made in the name of appearance. The instances where all of the factors get considered are few and far between. The next few years should be an interesting battle focusing around the idea of “being green.” And hey – even if they aren’t easy to recycle, wine boxes make for incredible platforms for packaging design.