Adapting to Glass Price Increases: Exploring Options for Drinks Producers

Crate Glass Bottles

Supply chain constraints, energy prices and political factors are having snowballing effects for drinks producers across categories. Whether more expensive, or harder to procure, what are the options for glass users in 2023?

Refillable Glass to PET

Reuse is an easy way to ease the cost of packaging as it can be reused to spread the cost. Refillable Glass and refillable PET are the main options for producers currently, and switching to PET is a cost saving option. As refPET can run down glass filling lines, its an easy and capex light switch. When switching to PET, many of the bottle design features of existing bottles can be carried across, from embossed and debossed logos or product marks to intricate design features.

Refillable PET bottles can be returned and refilled up to 25 times whilst using less material per trip. Further refPET has a lower carbon and cost footprint due to its lightweight material - returnable PET is around a tenth of the weight of glass.

One big benefit of refPET is in the Extended Producer Responsibility framework in the UK. This dictates that the producer is responsible for its packaging and needs to pay for any packaging placed on to the market. When placing refillable PET packaging on to the market, it is only paid for once, not for each subsequent time it is used – saving the producer this cost. For producers of mineral waters and carbonated soft drinks, exploring refillables is a good option.

Alternative Glass Bottles Refillable refPET Plastic
Refillable refPET Bottles

PET as an alternative for alcoholic drinks

Products such as wine a spirits can benefit from a move to single use PET. With only 15% of wines made to be laid down for future drinking, the vast majority of wines will be consumed locally, and within days of purchase. The margin on these earlier drinking styles is lower, and will be eroded more quickly by rising packaging costs. Our PET wine bottle provides oxygen, UV and light barriers for 6/18 months (depending on bottle), meaning these early drinking styles will be protected through the supply chain to the customers table. Estimates are showing the price of a glass bottle are up between 45 and 70% in 2023, so wine makers can make savings with PET, which again, is suitable for glass filling lines.   

Likewise with spirits producers, there are premium and value range spirits. Clear PET offers customers the same purchasing experience, but with the benefit of choosing a climate smart option. In the Nordics, who lead on PET spirit bottles, mark climate smart PET packaging on their shelves to show customers the option to pick. Producers can maintain their brands look and feel, and customers can feel better for choosing a sustainable packaging choice.


Changing packaging type might seem a drastic change for a brand to undertake, but the options it offers could manifest in improvements across the value chain, and in carbon emissions.