If you've ever noticed how heavy wine bottles are in comparison to other glass jars, you're not alone: The New York Times notes today in its Green Inc column that whereas a beer bottle today is 30% lighter than it was 20 years ago, wine bottles have added more than a pound to their weight in the last decade...
Efforts to produce thinner and lighter bottles (called "light-weighting") hope to encourage bottle makers to lighten up on the bottle's base. (Typically cavities in a wine bottle's base are created to help with aging sediment — something that really isn't necessary unless you plan on aging your wine and not drinking it within 6 months.) But tradition and aesthetics make it difficult for wine makers to give up on the heavier bottles. As the article in The New York Times quoted, "Everybody wants to take a slightly improved version of their product and put it in an expensive-looking, heavy container so they can charge $100 for it."
The article also notes that, while wine bottles are far from being completely light-weighted, much of the glass that goes into the production of the bottles is recycled glass, and the Glass Packaging Institute aims for their customers to be using 50 percent recycled glass by 2013.
Read the whole article here.