Alcoholic drinks giant Diageo has announced that several of its major beer brands including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s will stop using single-use plastics for their beer packaging, in a bid to combat plastic waste levels.
The move will see Diageo brands phase out the use of plastic rings and shrink wraps for multipacks of beer cans, as the brands will use 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard instead.
Diageo has invested approximately £16 million to overhaul the packaging across its beer portfolio, and the company estimates that this move is equivalent to the removal of 40 million 50cl plastic bottles from the world.
The sustainable beer packs will initially be released in the Republic of Ireland from August 2019, and will be introduced to other international markets including the UK from Summer 2020.
These new packs will also help Diageo meet its 2025 sustainability goals, which included targets such as achieving 40% average recycled content in its plastic bottles – and 100% by 2030; as well as ensuring that 100% of the plastic used across its portfolio is “widely recyclable”.
Diageo’s chief sustainability officer and president, global supply & procurement David Cutter, said: “Great packaging is essential for our products. Consumers expect our packs to look beautiful, be functional, and sustainable.
“I am proud to announce this investment, through which we have been able to combine all three.
“We have been working tirelessly to make our packaging more environmentally-friendly and I’m thrilled with this outcome for Guinness and our other global beer brands.”
Mark Sandys, global head of beer, Baileys and Smirnoff at Diageo said: “For 260 years Guinness has played a vital role in the communities around us.
“We already have one of the most sustainable breweries in the world at St. James’s Gate and we are now leading the way in sustainable packaging.
“This is good news for the brand, for our wider beer portfolio and for the environment.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019