Plant-Based Stopper Soon to be a Reality

Friday, 1 March, 2013
The Drinks Business
Synthetic closure specialist Nomacorc is to launch a stopper made from plant-based polymers later this year.
Details of the new product, which will employ natural materials like corn or sugar cane in place of oil-derived products, will be announced in around eight weeks time, said Jeff Slater, global director of marketing at Nomacorc, said yesterday.

According to his colleague, Maurizio Ugliano, who is enological research manager at the closure producer, “No-one in the wine industry has ever worked with these materials, although they are used in soft drinks and mineral water [packaging].”

Slater admitted that recreating the chemistry of oil-derived polymers using natural raw materials was “very difficult,” particularly in the manufacturing of the company’s co-extruded synthetic corks, and hence Nomacorc’s upcoming new product carries a patent.

However, the closures won’t be made exclusively from plant-based polymers, with around 50 percent  of the new stopper made using natural materials – which Slater said was a higher content than Coca-Cola’s “plant bottle.”

Slater believes there is a demand from winemakers for a synthetic cork incorporating plant-based polymers because the closure offers some of the environmental benefits of natural cork, but the consistency of a synthetic product.

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WineLand

The prototype product has been dubbed NomaCap.
The prototype product has been dubbed NomaCap.

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