LIWF 2013 - GLOBAL: Bio-cork has plastic in its sights

By | 22 May 2013

Synthetic corks are made from plastic

Synthetic corks are made from plastic

A new bio-plant closure for wine bottles could replace plastic corks if oil prices continue to rise, its maker has claimed.

Nomacorc lead scientist, Olav Aagaard said yesterday (21 May) that the sugarcane-based Select Bio will cost about 20% more than oil-based closures. “But with oil prices increasing, at some point in the future there would be a point when the cost will be lower and it will make more sense economically,” Aagaard told just-drinks.

Nomocorc, which makes about 13% of the world's wine closures, unveiled Select Bio at Stuttgart's Intervitis Interfructa in April and is showcasing it at this week's London International Wine Fair.

The three closures in the range, which took two years to develop, claim to have a zero-carbon footprint. They use similar technology to the Coca-Cola Co's PlantBottle, and Nomacorc said the soft drink giant's backing could help bring prices down further.

“The good news is that Coke and Danone (with single-serve yogurt pots) are pushing this big time,” said the group's director of global marketing Jeffrey Slater. “The demand is there and that will obviously have an effect on costs.”

Nomacorc is confident its new invention can top 100m bottles in three to five years, with initial demand coming from organic wine makers. However, Aagaard said it is unlikely to replace natural cork as the leading wine closure, especially among premium labels.

“There will always be a market and should always be a market for cork,” he said.

In March, Nomacorc opened a plant in Argentina to target the country's “rapid growth” in wine exports.

Expert analysis

World Caps & Closures NEW Forecasts for 2016 & 2021 in 18 countries

This study analyzes the global cap and closure industry, with a detailed analysis of 18 countries. Products covered include plastic caps and closures (standard threaded, pressure screw, vacuum threaded, dispensing, unthreaded, child-resistant, and synthetic corks); steel and aluminum caps and closures (crown, roll-on, screw and lug, and other); and caps and closures made from other materials (rubber and cork). Markets for these products include beverages such as beer, carbonated soft drinks, and bottled water; food; pharmaceuticals; and other markets such as cosmetics and toiletries, household products, and automotive chemicals. An overview is presented by material, major market, geographic region, and major country.

Sectors: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), Environmental issues, Wine

Companies: Coca-Cola Co, Coke, Danone

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