Eco logical

This year we launched a square wine bottle called California Square. Total Wines was, like Safeway, progressive enough to trial it and its floor staff were briefed to talk about the benefits of greener packaging. Of course, the bottling line bitched and whined about the fact that it would be impossible to use square bottles, and did that right up to the point when we pointed out that three of the biggest liquor brands in the world come in square format. The wine trade has a lot of people for whom the computer always says no.

The alcohol industry is one of the most energy-hungry and wasteful sectors in the whole of retail but the potential for a positive change is huge. We all saw how Tesco changed the face of the closure industry in the UK when it demonstrated support for screwcaps.

We’re just one small company trying to make a dent in the homogeny of our corner of the trade but just imagine if all retailers actually did something to incentivise brand owners to develop less energy-hungry formats and did a little something to educate consumers on exactly how many carbon dioxides it took to make their packaging or to ship plastic and water from a military junta in Fiji.

Kevin Shaw is founder & creative director of Stranger & Stranger