Champagne with a lighter carbon footprint


Champagne producers in France are working toward a better carbon footprint by making their bottles more sustainable. The New York Times reports that the Champagne industry has embarked on a drive to cut the 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide it emits every year transporting billions of tiny bubbles around the world. Producing and shipping accounts for nearly a third of Champagne’s carbon emissions, with the hefty bottle the biggest offender. The Champagne's packaging will use 65 fewer grams (2.3 ounces) of glass, is in response to a 2003 study of Champagne’s carbon footprint, which the industry wants to cut 25 percent by 2020, and 75 percent by 2050. Some of the new vessels are on the market now; however most should be on shelves by April of 2011. Also in the report, designing a new bottle was no small feat. The container still had to withstand Champagne’s extreme pressure. It would also need to survive the four-year obstacle course from the factory floor to the cellars to the dining table, and fit in existing machinery at all Champagne houses. And it had to be molded so that consumers would barely detect the difference in the bottle’s classic shape.

In an industry where heritage reigns, will Champagne consumers and producers be happy to adopt these new sustainable measures?

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