The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has introduced a new “Enviro Chic” program to promote certain beverage container types as being eco-friendly. The promotion includes wine in Tetra Paks, and this has triggered sharp criticism from environmental groups.
Although the poly-laminates in Tetra Paks are difficult to separate and recycle, the manufacturer has long argued that the energy benefits (from not having to refrigerate the contents during transportation and storage) outweigh this drawback. But that advantage isn’t so clear with wine, which doesn’t require refrigeration.
“Tetra Pak is environmentally friendly,” the LCBO’s Chris Layton was quoted as saying. “It produces 90 per cent less waste than a glass bottle, so that’s 90 per cent less waste that’s going to the landfill.”
However, the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) says the layers are made from virgin pulp, aluminum and plastic, each of which creates pollution through its production. TEA says you have to look at the complete lifecycle of a product or package.
“Just because a container weighs less doesn’t mean it’s green,” says TEA’s Franz Hartmann, who adds that the most eco-friendly of all alcohol packaging is a refillable glass bottle.