Founded in 2010, Gotham Project (GP) is known for distributing wines to retailers and restaurants in stainless steel kegs; wine on-tap. In doing so, the company estimates that it has eliminated more than five million single-use glass bottles from being tossed.
This is important because, “the single largest portion of the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine comes from the energy used to manufacture that bottle, transport it to the winery to be filled and then distribute it around the globe...” And, “Only around 30 percent of glass bottles are recycled in the U.S. It’s a huge problem,” notes GP co-founder Bruce Schneider.
GP also reduces its carbon footprint by shipping wine in bulk and packaging it close to where it will be sold (though this is not possible for all types of wine). Its use of 24,000-liter flexitanks (hermetically sealed plastic containers) reduces what “would have required three [shipping] containers if the wine had been bottled before shipping” to just one.
Now, as yet another offering for carbon-conscious customers and clients, the company is experimenting with returnable, reusable bottles, with a small group of customers in New York, Massachusetts and Colorado. “The bottles are embossed with ‘Return & Reuse’ and sealed solely with corks, avoiding the waste that would come with foil capsules.” Consumers are given a choice of receiving a small cash reward for returning bottles or donating that amount to an environmental charity.