Brewing Group UK&I has revealed that it plans to eliminate plastic can rings from its UK drinks products by the end of 2020.
The £6.3m (€7.1m) investment will eliminate a total of 850 tonnes of plastic each year.
The company says this is equivalent to 425 black cabs or 67 double decker buses.
The total will save 250 tonnes of plastic which would’ve been used for holding packs together (about 117m individual units) and 600 tonnes of shrink film, used as a tertiary binding material for beer packs.
As part of AB InBev, a leading global brewing and drinks company, Budweiser Brewing Group says that it is ‘committed to meeting far-reaching sustainability goals embedded in its business’.
Paula Lindenberg, president of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said: “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 switch to cardboard from plastic will require reconfiguration of the company’s two main breweries, in Magor, South Wales and Samlesbury, Lancashire.
So-called Keel Clips constructed from recyclable paperboard will replace the plastic rings to ‘create a lighter weight pack’. The clips are produced by Graphic Packaging International.
Speaking about the switch, Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “I’m hugely encouraged to see a major company like Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I making substantial investment in green technology to significantly cut its use of plastic by over 850 tonnes a year.”