Guinness to swap plastic for cardboard in new recycling drive

Diageo, which own beer brand Guinness, will follow Carlsberg in removing plastic packaging from packs of beer.

Their multi-can packs will replace plastic with cardboard which the company says will be sustainably sourced, recyclable and fully biodegradable.

The new packs will be on shelves in Ireland from August 2019 and from Summer 2020 in Great Britain and the rest of the world. Currently, under 5% of Diageo’s total packaging is plastic and they hope this change will reduce Diageo’s plastic usage by over 400 tonnes annually.

Mark Sandys, global head of beer, Baileys and Smirnoff for 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.’

David Cutter, Diageo’s chief sustainability officer added: ‘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.”

In September, Carlsberg announced they will replace the plastic rings used to support four, six and eight packs of beer with technology that glues its cans together instead.

The company claims the innovation, which has been in design for the last three years, will reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1200 tonnes a year – the equivalent to 60 million plastic bags.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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