Amherstburg distillery uses 100% paper bottles for new liquor
Glass and plastic move over — there's a new type of liquor bottle in town.
Wolfhead Distillery in Amherstburg, Ont., says the new Vanilla Almond Biscotti Cream Liquor comes in a 100 per cent paper bottle.
Danielle Moldovan, Wolfhead's director of marketing, said the change to paper came from a sustainability initiative from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
"We're starting to see this directive coming from the LCBO, when it comes to alcohol providers being more eco-friendly, and that was one of the big pushes for us to actually start this project," she said.
Paper bottle is cheaper than glass
The distillery partnered with Kinsbrae Packaging Inc. in Cambridge, Ont., for the new type of bottle.
Shawn Bonnick, president and chief executive officer of Kinsbrae, said he worked with a company called Frugal to develop the paper bottles for Wolfhead.
He said there are other paper bottles on the market that are just paper pulp around a classic water bottle, but added that's like "pulling the wool over the eyes of the consumer."
But his company and Frugal wanted to make a water bottle that was completely paper.
"We wanted something that was going to be 100 per cent paper, and you can basically just finish your drink, and take that bottle and throw it right into the blue bin."
He said one of the challenges was creating a paper bottle that was cost effective because the environmental benefits wouldn't be enough "if this bottle was going to cost you six times as much as the glass bottle."
Moldovan said the model Wolfshead settled on is actually cheaper than the glass bottles they used before, but there is a longer production time with them.
"From an initial perspective everything had to be hand done. It was kind of like we were going back to 2016 when we launched and we were doing labels by hand," she said, adding that they have developed a better system to package the alcohol, but it still takes longer than glass.
2-year wait to use paper bottle maker
Bonnick said he believes paper liquor bottles will take off in the next few years, and the proof is in the orders at his business.
"We're almost at full capacity of the equipment for the next two years here with orders across Canada," he said.
Moldovan said other distilleries in the region have not reached out to ask about the paper bottles, but she believes they will become more popular in the future, as the LCBO moves forward with its sustainability program.
"I think there's going to be a lot of interest in bringing this forward, especially if the LCBO is directing the industry to come with more, to come up with more eco-friendly packaging solutions."