The sustainability initiative helping local wineries save

Thursday, 08 April, 2021

Seeing countless wine box dividers going into paper recycling every month, Dan Murphy’s Mornington East Wine Merchant Michael Zitzlaff thought there must be a way to reuse them.

Many local, boutique Mornington Peninsula winemakers deliver their wines directly to Dan Murphy’s stores, so Zitzlaff started putting the box dividers aside for the next time a local winemaker would visit the store.

“I used to be a winemaker for 30 years, so I knew that box dividers are an additional packaging cost for wineries,” he said. “Our local winemakers like Kathleen Quealy from Quealy Wines were delighted about the initiative and were more than happy to reuse the box dividers. Not only does this help them save money, but it’s great for the environment.”

Dividers going out to local wineries.

The initiative has been rolled out to about 10 Dan Murphy’s stores in Victoria, including Malvern East, Doncaster and Cheltenham stores. Together, these stores have collected 12,800 carton dividers, which are now on their way to being reused by local wineries to bottle the 2020 vintage — resulting in savings of more than $10,000 for the wineries.

The Story Wines, a small producer of top Grampians and Henty Wines, is one of the wineries that has been using recycled box dividers.

“We managed to get chatting with Steven Fisher, the wine merchant at Dan Murphy’s Malvern East store who mentioned that he had a mountain of generic wine dividers. They are usually in perfect condition to restack and reuse, so I drove up and filled the back of the station wagon with them so we can reuse them in our 2020 wines,” Story Wines winemaker Rory Lane said.

“Each of these dividers would cost us 88 cents for each dozen bottles we produce, so we are saving money and saving a few trees at the same time, and building connections with our partners in Dan Murphy’s stores. We are really grateful for this opportunity,” he added.

Dan Murphy’s is now looking to build a process for the recycling scheme so they can roll out the initiative to more stores.

Image caption: Wine merchant Michael Zitzlaff with Kathleen Quealy.

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