Is Glass a Thing of the Past?
Staff Writer - March 15, 2004
Pettle, a revolutionary new material co-developed by Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has jointly patented a technology that it says could revolutionize the wine world. It is the Pettle, or what the layman would call a plastic wine bottle with a screw-top. The company says that the wine connoisseur won't notice a difference in the wine, while the new material, at 32 grams per a 187ml wine bottle, is less than a quarter of the weight of glass and consequently cuts down excess weight on airplane cargo, lowering the cost of fuel and , at the same time, addressing security concerns in these troubled times. The Tasman Express route will be the first aircraft of the company to have their wines in this new packaging and, if successful, the Pettle will be introduced on all flights.
As Air New Zealand jointly owns the rights, the company is looking to sell the product to other airlines.
"There is already enormous excitement in the wine industry as it begins to realize the potential of being able to market this both locally and overseas, particularly in the US," said Alistair Dunlop, Air New Zealand procurement manager. Mr Dunlop and plastics technician Chris Watkins, of Honeyland Naturally, have spent three years developing Pettle.
"After three years of development, legal discussions and heartache we're finally at the stage where this can go public," said again Mr. Dunlop.
The product is designed and manufactured in New Zealand, it is stronger than glass, will not smash if dropped and is 100 per cent recyclable. Pettle will be tested on Air New Zealand flights for two months before the airline tackles the international market.