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Health, WOSA

SA #wine glasses go green

New technology PET wine glass 350 times more environmentally friendly than glass.

As South Africa heads towards one of its most critical global environmental meetings, The UN Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) in late November, all eyes are on local companies and initiatives that promote the preservation of our country and planet.


One company, govino, is aiming at converting South African wine drinkers from using chemical and lead-laden glass to a greener PETG polymer “glass” that doesn’t compromise the environment.


“Not only do normal glasses contain sodium carbonate, calcium oxide and magnesium, but there are many variations which contain up to 33% lead oxide. We strongly believe that green can no longer be a buzz-word that is simply bandied about and not acted on, especially in a time when all eyes are on South Africa to provide evidence of its fight against global warming,” says Ryan Sowray, an 18-year veteran of the SA wine industry.


Govino has made a big impression on wine drinkers in the US, Sweden and Australia, where over 78 thousand polymer glasses have been sold. The product is also BPA free, a cancer causing chemical similar to melamine.


The thing about these glasses is that they don’t look or feel like plastic. They are sophisticated and are often referred to as crystal clear, green, shatterproof glassware which are reusable, recyclable and perfect for luxury outdoor dining. govino has patented this unique design, which features a thumb notch which is ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable holding grip.


“We tested all kinds of polymers,” says Joseph Perrulli, who designed the award-winning glasses with Boyd Willat. “We looked at viscosity of the wine, how it rolls down the inner wall of the glass, the way the aromatics project, the colour, everything.”


The stemless, unbreakable “glass” reflects everything a wine connoisseur would expect from a glass; it reflects the light and colour in the same way expensive Austrian lead crystal glassware would, but with none of the environmentally harmful chemicals,” says Ryan Sowray, importer of govino.


PETG is composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It is non-toxic, 100% recyclable and completely environmentally friendly. If incinerated, PET combusts completely, leaving behind only water and carbon dioxide.


The carbon footprint of the product was another environmental issue high on the list of the team of designers. If one transported 2500 traditional glasses from Cape Town to the Kruger Park, it would produce approximately 105kg of carbon emissions.


By contrast, the carbon footprint of govino, transported from Cape Town to Kruger Park in the same volume is 300g; 350 times less than that of traditional glass.


contact glass@entertainoutside.co.za – Ryan Sowray or http://www.entertainoutside.co.za 



2 thoughts on “SA #wine glasses go green

  1. What a load of rubbish, how can you substantiate that the carbon footprint created by transporting any commodity from Cape Town to Kruger is more or less than another commodity. There are also very few glass manufacturers in the world still using lead in their glass. You are painting the whole glass industry with the same brush, when most of them are using lead free crystal these days. I fail to see how PET is more environmentally friendly than glass. Glass can be recycled into different forms, either by being remelted and formed back into other usable objects, or crushed back to sand that is then able to be used as a substitute for sand dug out of the earth and rivers, in building, water filtration, pipe laying and many other applications

    Posted by Chas | July 1, 2011, 6:01 am
    • The Carbon footprint of an item is based in part on weight – easily calculated by http://www.carbonfund.org/business/calculator. Glass is far more heavy than PET thus contributing substantial more to a CF. In addition Polyester PETG has outstanding thermoforming properties, combining low energy consumption, short production cycles, extreme draw ratios which all allow for a minimal carbon footprint.
      Glass is definitively recyclable but the transport that it takes to return to the point of recycling is substantial – haven’t done the calculation – have you?
      Our comment re lead are based on lead crystal, still found in some ‘premium glasses’ and decanters.
      The fact that the majority of premium wine glasses such and Reidel and Spiegelau are imported is an CF issue against which comparisons can be made.
      What has Ngwenya’s CF been calculated at ex SZ?

      Posted by SaleWine.co.za | July 1, 2011, 6:55 am

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