Drinks giant Diageo has announced it is spending £18 million to reduce the amount of plastic used for its beer brands, including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s.
Multi-can packs will be replaced by cardboard packs, which are sustainably sourced, recyclable and fully biodegradable. The new sustainable beer packs will be on shelves on the island of Ireland from August 2019 and from Summer 2020 in Great Britain and other international markets. Individual cans are fully recyclable, including the widget which is contained inside cans of Draught Guinness.
This will then lead to:
- The introduction of 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard to replace plastic
- A reduction of plastic waste that is the equivalent of removing 40 million 50cl plastic bottles from the world* which, if laid out in a row, would reach from London to Beijing (8,136km)
“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,” says Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys and Smirnoff. “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.”
Said David Cutter, Chief Sustainability Officer and President, Global Supply & Procurement: “Currently, under 5% of our total packaging around the world is plastic and in 2018, we announced new plastics targets from 2025 and beyond.
We’re continuously looking for ways to work with our suppliers, customers and consumers to make our packaging more sustainable and our targets ensure that 100% of plastics used are designed to be widely recyclable, or reusable/compostable.”