Solid Waste & Recycling


Ontario liquor monopoly launches new Tetra Pak wine

According to an April 11 news release distributed via Canadian Newswire, the "Three Thieves Bandit" brand of wine "...

According to an April 11 news release distributed via Canadian Newswire, the “Three Thieves Bandit” brand of wine “has just released a new environmentally-friendly package that is the first of its kind in North America.” Modeled on a similar product launch built around so-called French Rabbit wine, the wine will be sold in Tetra Pak containers and will be accompanied by a trendy “feel good” consumer environmental campaign.

Bandit 250mL single-serving mini Tetra Pak packages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio were launched at the upscale LCBO Summerhill store, with a portion of sales of the new wines at the LCBO going to “create a new habitat for Toronto-area frogs.” The launch event featured samples of Bandit wine and what the LCBO news release described as “hearty wild west style food, a friendly “pour off” and cowboy rope tricks, in keeping with the Three Thieves western theme (of the California-based Bandit wines).

Three Thieves co-founder Charles Bieler also announced that Three Thieves would support the creation of a wetland at the Kortright Centre for Conservation near Toronto, in cooperation with Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and the LCBO’s Natural Heritage Fund, which helps create and rehabilitate wildlife habitats throughout Ontario. In cooperation with Ducks Unlimited, the TRCA will construct two ponds to expand on the existing wetland providing an improved habitat for frogs and other wildlife. David Love, Executive Director of the TRCA Conservation Foundation, said, “Healthy wetlands are important as part of a clean water system, and they provide habitat for raccoons, deer, many bird species, and of course frogs. The new Kortright Centre wetland will serve to protect three important frog species in Ontario: the Spring Peeper, Gray Tree Frog, and Wood Frog (“TheBandit”).

“Working with suppliers like Three Thieves, we are offering our customers more choice and convenience while reducing packaging and benefiting wildlife and the environment,” LCBO President and COO Bob Peter said. “Our customers have responded favorably to the growing selection of products available in alternative packages, and our suppliers are taking note.”

The 1-litre Merlot and the new mini packages, equivalent to a single glass of wine, will expand the winemaker’s current offerings in alternative packaging at the LCBO: the first two offerings in 1-litre Tetra Pak containers from Bandit were introduced in December 2005, featuring a light and crisp Pinot Grigio and a rich and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. Choosing wine in environmentally-friendly packaging is part of the California winemaker’s ethos. Three Thieves co-founder Charles Bieler said the company has deliberately chosen to be at the forefront of the alternative packaging movement.

“As a winemaker, we want to contribute to the search for more economically viable, environmentally healthy and socially responsible ways to meet today’s needs without compromising future generations.

“The wine industry has wholeheartedly embraced sustainable farming practices,” added Bieler. “We are taking that concept a step further by introducing the idea of sustainable business practices. Wine in a box saves energy, reduces waste and helps the environment. We are here to prove that being good for the Earth is not just good for the quality of the wine it’s also good business.”

“Corby Distilleries Ltd. is proud to be the sales agent for Bandit wines throughout Canada,” Andy Alexander, VP Sales at Corby Distilleries Limited remarked. “Not only are these fine wines presented in eco-friendly packaging, these smaller formats will give consumers the convenience and versatility in their wine drinking occasions.”

For commentary, see Editor’s Blog at left of the home page at Also, background detail is provided below.


Bandit wines in environmentally-friendly packages support GTA frog habitats. Tetra Pak packaging Tetra Brik(R) packaging has been widely accepted by the rest of the world with close to two billion units of wine sold in Tetra-Briks(R) last year alone. Aseptic packaging has many benefits, including greater portability, durability and the ability to preserve the wine it holds for future use. The 250mL Tetra Prisma (TM) container is comprised of 70 per cent paper (a renewable resource) with an easy-open pull-tab. In Ontario, the packages are collected as part of the Blue Box municipal recycling program, which counts the LCBO as its leading financial supporter, contributing $35 million to date. The energy saved by transporting a Tetra package is substantial since the package is lighter and takes up far less space than glass bottles. This results in a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels and harmful emissions released into the air during transportation of the product.

About Three Thieves Bandit wines

Each Three Thieves 250mL Bandit mini container contains 33 per cent more wine than the standard single serving – which is 187mL. As with their 1-Litre jugs and Tetra-Briks(R), Three Thieves co-founder Charles Bieler said the Three Thieves refuse to waiver from their dedication to providing consumers with quality wine at a great value. The Bandit Three Thieves varietals — Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio — are now on sale at the LCBO in colorful recyclable Tetra Pakcontainers, which use 90 per cent less packaging than wine bottles. The Three Thieves wines retail for $11.95 for a 1 L container — which holds about two glasses more than the traditional 750 ml bottle at the same price. The four-packs retail for $13.95, and provide four 250 ml servings of wine.

Kortright Centre for Conservation

Kortright Centre for Conservation is an ecological jewel on the edge of a city of 5.2 million people. Attracting over 135,000 visitors a year, it is home to 162 hectares of woods, hills, streams and ponds with 16 kilometres of hiking trails. It has a pond called Spring Peeper Pond — which is one of the natural habitats which Three Thieves donation and the LCBO’s Natural Heritage Fund will help to support. LCBO’s Natural Heritage Fund Innovation in package design is essential if package waste is to be reduced. Three Thieves bandit wines are part of a growing number of innovative, attractive, versatile and convenient packaging alternatives in the beverage alcohol industry that will reduce waste and help protect Ontario’s natural environment.

The LCBO has established a Natural Heritage Fund to protect Ontario’s natural heritage by preserving and expanding wildlife habitat. The Fund receives 50 cents from the sale of every cloth Envirobag sold at LCBO stores. The fund has already contributed to river clean up drives in southern Ontario, a tree planting initiative in southwestern Ontario, and support for an Eagle nesting project in the Thousand Islands region. The fund is also helping to reverse the decline of the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike by helping to renew its natural habitat and working with a supplier to expand its breeding program.

Toronto and Region Conservation and The Conservation Foundation

Toronto and Region Conservation has monitored, protected and regenerated the nine watersheds flowing through the Toronto region into Lake Ontario since1957. It owns over 38,000 acres of green space, including Black Creek Pioneer Village, the Kortright Centre for Conservation, Tommy Thompson Park, three outdoor education field centres and 10 parks and conservation areas, including Humber Bay Park, Bluffers Park, Ajax Waterfront Park and the Don Valley Brick Works. They are maintained by municipal partners. TRCA raises about 70 per cent of its budget, the remainder coming from municipal levies. Partners are the City of Toronto, the regional municipalities of Durham, Peel and York, the Town of Mono and the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio.

The Conservation Foundation raises money for projects undertaken by TRCA, whose vision is The Living City, a cleaner, green
er, healthier place to live. Some of the proceeds from the sale of Bandi
t wines will help create two small ponds beside the existing wetland at the Kortright Centre for Conservation. As well, trails and interpretive signage will be built. An Environmentally Significant Area (ESA), the overall wetland complex is more than 5 acres. There are trumpeter swans successfully nesting there again. The value of the project, with support from our partner Ducks Unlimited, is$100,000. Healthy wetlands clean water and provide habitat for raccoons, deer, many bird species, and of course frogs. Kortright Centre for Conservation is an ecological jewel on the edge of a city of 5.2 million people. Attracting over 135,000 visitors a year, it is home to 162 hectares of woods, hills, streams and ponds with 16 kilometres of hiking trails. It even has a pond called Spring Peeper Pond – one of our featured frogs.

Frog Facts

Frogs have been around for more than 200 million years. They shared the earth with dinosaurs. Frogs inhabit most landmasses and islands, except Antarctica. Frogs were the first land animals with vocal cords. Some calls travel nearly two kilometers. Frogs can freeze but will come to life beside a campfire. Because they absorb water through their skin, the health of frogs is indicative of the quality of water, air and soil. Frog populations are declining around the world.

The Wood Frog is the first to begin calling in the spring. The males make sounds that resemble a quack of a duck. The wood frog, a.k.a. the bandit, has a “mask.” Wood frogs are well suited to a cold climate and are the only frogs that can live north of the Arctic Circle, surviving weeks with its frozen body. The Spring Peeper, like other Chorus Frogs, is a small animal attaining an adult length of only a little over an inch long. A characteristic of the Spring Peeper is the dorsal marks that form an X on the back. It usually isn’t a perfect X, but some form of it. The general coloration is a variation of brown, gray, or green. Like many of the Chorus Frogs, the Spring Peeper is often heard, but not seen. It gets its name from its call, which consists of a single clear note or peep. The Gray Tree Frog lives in the forest and breeds in the water, requiring both water and land to survive. This frog has considerable color-changingability; the same frog can vary in color from light gray to brown to pale green; one or more dark irregular blotches, sometimes outlined in black, maybe visible on the back; a dark stripe or band often slants from the back of the eye to the front leg; belly is white, and there is a patch of bright yellow or orange under the hind legs.

For more information, contact:

Deanne Rodrigue Manager, Marketing and Communications Toronto and Region Conservation, Phone: 416-661-6600 ext. 5359 Email:

Tess Michelis, Marketing Manager, Agency Spirits, Corby Distilleries Limited, Phone: 416 369-1859 ext 511, Email:

Danile Gauvin, Manager, Corporate Communications, LCBO, Phone. 416 864-6721, Email:

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