AB InBev’s Budweiser Brewing Group UK & Ireland subsidiary has announced that it will remove all plastic rings from can packaging across its UK-produced beer range by the end of 2020.
The move will see brands such as Stella Artois, Budweiser and Bud Light cease the use of plastic rings, and the company claims it will invest £6.3 million to develop ‘new green technologies’ at its UK breweries to achieve this.
According to figures provided by the company, this investment will enable Budweiser Brewing Group to eliminate a total of 850 tonnes of plastic each year.
This total will include removing 250 tonnes of plastic rings previously used to hold packs of beer cans together (comparable to 117 million plastic rings in total), and 600 tonnes of shrink film.
Paula Lindenberg, president of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said: “Protecting our natural resources and operating efficiently is crucial for our business, as well as the communities we live and work in.
“This is why we have spent the past decade investing in circular packaging initiatives around the world to close the loop and reduce waste. We’re proud of the work we’ve already done so far, but we realised more needed to be done to address the issue of single-use plastics.
“This announcement ensures that the UK’s favourite beers will soon come in recyclable paperboard packaging, so consumers can make even better choices each time they shop.
“This is another important step towards a more sustainable future, as we move towards brewing our biggest beer brands with 100% locally-sourced barley and 100% renewable electricity from solar power.”
The move follows similar sustainability commitments made by other major beer firms such as Carlsberg, Corona and Guinness, which have all ceased the use of plastic rings and/or shrink-wrap in favour of plastic-free alternatives.
It also follows last week’s news that Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will be replacing plastic shrink wrap with sustainably sourced cardboard across its entire western European drinks portfolio, with the company claiming that the move will stop the use of 4,000 tonnes of single-use plastic per year.
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