Danish study urges reuse for wine bottles

Researchers find transport back to source countries environmentally better than recycling

A study commissioned by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that imported wine bottles should be reused rather than recycled, even if they must be transported long distances to their countries of origin - primarily France, Germany and Spain.

In terms of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, "the advantage of not producing new glass more than outweighs the environmental cost of transport abroad," EPA official Birgitte Kjær told national newspaper Berlingske Tidende today.

However, 13% of wine bottles collected for reuse are broken in transit; overall, nearly one-third of all glass packaging in Denmark still ends up in landfills, the newspaper reports. In 1998, some 9,000 tonnes of potentially refillable bottles were smashed.

The EPA is to launch a public information campaign urging Danes to return all glass to local authorities or supermarkets. The agency says it will also look at less wasteful methods of collecting and transporting whole bottles.

Follow Up:
Berlingske Tidende, tel: +45 33 75 75 75; Danish EPA, tel: +45 32 66 01 00.

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