The next generation of returnable bottles
With Echovai, the Vetropack Group is launching a genuine innovation: the first returnable bottle made of tempered lightweight glass. Echovai boasts a weight reduction of up to 30 percent, greater stability and significantly less scuffing than on a standard bottle at the same time. The result: great cost-effectiveness and high circulation figures. Additionally, the next generation of returnable glass bottles also sets new standards in terms of sustainability and digitalisation.
This is made possible by the unique Echovai production process. For the first time ever, it allows glass bottles to be hardened thermally. It was developed over the course of almost ten years at the Vetropack Innovation Centre in Pöchlarn, Austria.
Since 2019, Echovai bottles have been extensively tested in the market as part of a pilot project in collaboration with Austrian brewery Mohrenbrauerei based in Vorarlberg. The project has been a resounding success: thanks to the lightweight bottles, the logistics effort for the varieties sold in Echovai bottles was reduced by around 1,000 tonnes per year. The CO2 emissions per bottle dropped to only a quarter of a conventional returnable bottle.
Echovai bottles are currently produced exclusively at the Vetropack site in Pöchlarn. After a few additional projects with select users, other plants throughout Europe will follow to be able to meet the growing demand for Echovai: "By being truly innovative, Echovai has what it takes to revolutionise the market for returnable containers both economically and ecologically," emphasises Daniel Egger, Head of Innovation at Vetropack. "In the long term, we are aiming for a more user-friendly return and refill system with 100 per cent bottle reuse."