We all have that favourite onboard tipple we like to sup on as we cruise at 35,000 feet. A little luxury that gives us a taste of the golden era of travel where boozing onboard meant only the very best of the best. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic era, with Covid limitations seeing airlines reducing such luxuries onboard, or stopping alcoholic beverages onboard altogether for the time being, ‘Oh Mon Dieu!’   

As commercial flight has grown, over 9 billion travellers jet set across the globe on an annual basis and, as a result, air travel and transportation contributes to 4.9 % of human-caused climate change, including emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. 

The current landscape of the industry is a volatile balancing act between sustainability, hygiene and luxury and the race is on for airlines to deliver new solutions that lighten the load without detracting from the passenger experience.  But how can airlines fulfil these three key priorities with limited budgets, especially with the tumultuous times of Covid?  

Of course, there are the big strategies that airlines can do, with greener fuel alternatives, recycling initiatives, repurposed aircraft parts etc. But it’s also the smaller steps that can really make waves in improving sustainability standards.  Onboard catering, tableware and consumables can make all the difference to a sustainable service that still speaks of sophistication. Even if onboard offerings are limited, airlines need to do all they can to give passengers something to smile about.  

Well, British company Frugalpac may just have the very thing to quench the airlines’ thirst for sustainable packaging solutions and still provide that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to enchant even the most discernible passengers onboard. Introducing the Frugal Bottle; the recycled paper wine bottle that boasts of innovative beauty while protecting the planet.  

When we order our nice bottle of claret to delight in, have we stopped to think how our ‘little’ need for indulgence is increasing the airplanes footprint with every bottle that is stocked onboard. Of course not, we’re too busy getting sloshed. But the airline is gasping to find a way to deliver you your drink of choice more sustainably without cheapening the experience. Plastic is not an option, it might be lighter than traditional glass, but it creates a mountain of single-use waste. How about paper? Don’t be ridiculous, as soon as it gets wet it’ll go soggy and ruin the wine darling.   

Well think again.   

Made from 94% recycled paperboard, the 75cl Frugal Bottle has a carbon footprint up to six times (84%) lower than a glass bottle and more than a third less than a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic; only 15g compared to a 64g bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. AND It’s easy to recycle again. The integrated plastic food-grade liner simply needs to be removed from the paper bottle before you can put both components in the appropriate recycling bins. Or you can put the whole bottle in your paper recycling bin and the liner will be easily separated in the paper re-pulping process.  

 If airlines can collaborate with their beverage partners to take the leap to Frugal Bottles, they could be looking at a whole host of beautiful benefits that not only help with their CSR and sustainability strategies but also their passenger gifting experience. AND it’s a win-win for wine producers too, as the Frugal Bottle can be produced in the heart of their bottling facility, allowing them to cut the carbon footprint of each bottle by up to 84% and reduce emissions from transporting bottles and offering complete freedom of design and print. Frugalpac Chief Executive Malcolm Waugh said: Frugalpac’s business model is to supply Frugal Bottle machines for wine producers or packaging companies to manufacture the bottles on their site, cutting carbon emissions even further. Materials can be purchased locally through existing paperboard printers to give maximum freedom of design and the best commercial offering.”  

The first wine to go on sale in the Frugal Bottle is from the award-winning Italian vineyard Cantina Goccia. It is also under the active consideration of a number of leading UK supermarket chains and hospitality groups keen to promote sustainable packaging and will be available from other retail outlets across the UK, in Denmark, and Holland over the next few weeks.  

And of course, it’s not just reserved for alcohol made from the grape variety. Another company to innovate their own plastic-free paper-based bottle design is Pulpex Limited; a sustainable packaging technology company formed by Diageo and Pilot Life. Their leading collaboration with Johnnie Walker black label whiskey is made entirely from sustainably sourced wood and is fully recyclable, pioneering a new mind-set in the commercial drinks sector, with other brands such as Seagram’s 7 Crown American whiskey brand and Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut Vodka looking at similar alternatives.  

With the Frugal Bottle brand having already sparked a huge amount of interest in a drinks industry keen to cut their emissions and appeal to a new audience of consumers interested in sustainability, the Frugal Bottle is destined to go onboard and take the aviation sector by storm.  Especially as the Frugal Bottle is not only the perfect opportunity to align with consumer priorities but is also a unique new way to push branding, creativity and the gifting experience.   

Made from recycled paperboard, the Frugal Bottle allows for 360-degree branding offering endless creative opportunities for both airlines and wine producers. Airlines could collaborate with local artists displaying their artwork on the bottle, or could have maps of the passengers destination, or history of the airline to commemorate a birthday year. The list goes on, and, with a reduced catering service, if it can’t be served inflight why not gift it on their arrival? One things for sure, it’s a clear message in bottle that signifies the collaboration of nature and humanity to create a unique experience for everyone and lift our ‘spirits’. So, whether it’s Gin, rum, vodka, you name it, airlines will have you floating above the clouds in no time with these quirky but vital Frugal Bottles of fun.