On-the-go drinking isn't just about breaking open container laws. Outdoorsy types who want to enjoy some red at the summit have to lug a heavy glass bottle up a mountain and then carry the damn thing back. Now they have what appears to be a pretty reasonable alternative.
Born from a partnership between Oakland, California-based packaging company Ecologic Brands and Sonoma County-based winery Truett-Hurst, PaperBoy Wine comes in bottles made of compressed recycled cardboard formed in the shape of a standard Bordeaux wine bottle, with a plastic liner inside.
"Campers, hikers, and fishermen can carry this lightweight package and enjoy premium wine from a 750-mL bottle almost anywhere, collapsing it when finished for return to a recycling site," CEO Phil Hurst says in a statement. At 1.9 pounds when filled, these paper bottles are 85% lighter than traditional glass bottles.
This lighter design isn’t just more convenient for outdoorsy drinkers—it also saves diesel when wine is being shipped. If the 207.7 million cases of wine that are shipped annually in the U.S. were packaged in the PaperBoy bottle, Hurst says, they'd save approximately "50,793,750 gallons of diesel and 560,000 tons of CO2.
What's wrong with glass? It's true that glass wine bottles are recyclable, but glass has a 28% recycling rate compared to paper’s 91% recycling rate. Overall, the company calculated that PaperBoy’s carbon footprint is 67% smaller than that of glass, and the carbon footprint for shipping is 18% more efficient than glass.
The concept for the bottle came from designer Kevin Shaw of London-based packaging design firm Stranger & Stranger. He coined the PaperBoy name and created the branding art, which includes a '20s-style cartoon of a jolly little paperboy. Copy on the molded pulp label tells drinkers, "How to save the planet with the paper bottle!" and makes drinking seem like something you should do to save the planet.
PaperBoy is available in 44 states and sells a 2012 Paso Robles Red Blend (MSRP $14.99) and a 2012 Mendocino Chardonnay (MSRP $14.99).