Single-serve Wine Pouches Sparks Environmental Controversy

Wine subscription service A Glass Of received negative attention among social media users for its single-serve wine pouches last month.

The company encouraged customers to recycle their 200ml foil wine pouches, but most critics questioned if the product was necessary when they could easily store leftover wine in the fridge.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology environment educator Dr Annette Gough said they are an environmental disaster.

“You don’t want to be compounding the problem by creating another type of container,” she said.

“We’ve got enough problems with all the different symbols on the containers.”

But the backlash could have been due to Australia’s massive binge drinking culture, said Cafe Sydney sommelier Jarrett Buffington.

“I see it every day; people drink and drink, and that’s the normal,” he said.

“But the idea of this is to support independent winemakers and to give people sample sizes. It’s not for you to just go out and get pissed off, and I think that’s what people are missing.”

Image: Polina Kovaleva via Pexels

Fine Wine Appreciation sommelier Matthew Hansen said he didn’t see a need for the product as wine can be purchased in smaller bottles or cans.

However, he echoed Mr Buffington’s sentiments with Australia’s binge drinking culture.

“I’m more concerned about the amount of alcohol people are drinking.”

The wine pouches are delivered in a box of five for $45 and are precycled, meaning they produce less waste to begin with.

Though the wine pouches add to the current waste problem, the bigger environmental issue is consumers failing to separate their waste appropriately.

“Even when you’ve got glass, paper and compostable bins around, people just throw in anything and it’s getting contaminated,” Dr Gough said.

“The trouble is people can even know what they need to be doing, but don’t do the right thing: everyone knows you shouldn’t smoke but a lot of people still smoke.”