Story | 07/08/2019 07:30:00 | 3 min Read time

El Coto de Rioja: Reaching sustainability targets with partnership

Today, sustainability is high on the agenda all around the world in the wine industry, it can be a clincher to choose between two wineries with similar wines. In order to maintain its sustainability status, El Coto de Rioja, one of the companies of Barón de Ley Group, has joined the RafCycle® by UPM Raflatac recycling program, therefore becoming the first RafCycle partner in Spain.


1. Joining the RafCycle program enables El Coto de Rioja to reach their sustainability targets by enabling the recycling of label liner

2. As the first partner in Spain, El Coto de Rioja hopes other wineries join the program to enhance recycling in the industry

El Coto de Rioja was founded in 1970 by a group of winemakers. Today the company has about 100 employees and they produce over 20 million bottles of top-quality wine every year. Their wines are distributed internationally to more than 70 countries.

Towards more sustainable actions

Turning waste into a resource is a key concept in a circular economy and with the RafCycle partnership, UPM Raflatac can help companies to reach their sustainability targets. Being a RafCycle partner helps companies reduce waste disposal costs, meet regulatory requirements, achieve landfill reduction targets and build a reputation as a responsible business.

RafCycle is an innovative recycling concept which enables the recycling of label liner. The waste is collected from the RafCycle partners and instead of putting the waste to landfill, the liner waste gets a new life as a raw material for UPM paper manufacturing, including new label liners.

Man collecting label liner waste
Label liner waste being collected

Shared benefits with RafCycle partnership

For companies like El Coto de Rioja, joining the RafCycle partnership only requires organizing a separate space where to collect and store the label waste until it gets picked up by a truck. The label liner collection is optimized to fill a full truck, therefore more partners are needed in the same area for increased flexibility. As the first RafCycle partner in Spain, El Coto de Rioja needs to fill the truck of label liner waste alone.

“Stocking the label liner waste is currently an issue for all wineries because it cannot be stored outside in a humid place and wineries often lack proper indoor space for the waste. This problem would disappear if more wineries would join the RafCycle program. If we had more winery partners in the same area to fill the truck more often, each winery would have to stock much less waste before we had a full truck,” says Diego Fernández González, Purchasing Manager of Barón de Ley Group.

Sustainability means taking all the steps all the way to the label liner recycling – from the beginning to the end, but also from the end to the beginning of the value chain. The RafCycle partnership makes it an efficient way for companies to move towards a circular economy. 

Main image: Joss Ramel, Packaging Solutions Manager, Spain & Portugal, UPM Raflatac (left) and David Fernandez, Production Manager, El Coto de Rioja, in front of the first label waste pick-up.

El Coto de Rioja

El Coto de Rioja is one of the most important and largest wineries in the Qualified Designation of origin Rioja. More than 20 million bottles are produced every year by their 97 employees. The vineyards and the winery are located in the town of Oyón in the province of Álava where they have 730 hectares of vineyards.

Visit their website

RafCycle® by UPM Raflatac

Our RafCycle waste management concept is an excellent example of thinking and acting circular. We don’t just recycle our own production waste, we offer our customers and end-users a recycling solution that gives their label waste a new life.

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