Molson Coors Beverage Co. will stop using plastic six-pack rings this year for one product line and expects the company's entire North American portfolio to make the move by the end of 2025.
The Chicago-based brewer said the transition will begin with Coors Light in 2021 with a move to cardboard-wrap containers.
Molson Coors will invest $85 million to change packaging equipment and expects to eliminate 1.7 million pounds of plastic use each year.
In 2021 the company removed plastic rings from major brands, including Coors and Carling, in the United Kingdom. Operations in Canada moved to what the company calls "more sustainable plastic rings" and will now transition away from plastic completely.
In making the move, Molson Coors is making it clear that the company does not want to be associated with plastics.
"We believe that buying beer shouldn't mean buying plastic," said Marcelo Pascoa, vice president of marketing for Coors, in a statement. "That's why we're taking a step toward making packaging even more sustainable, and with this achievement Coors Light will save 400,000 pounds of single-use plastic from becoming waste every year."
Coors Light is promoting the decision at what the company calls "a super sustainable pop-up concept store" in Brooklyn called "Plastic-Free Future Mart by Coors Light." The store will be open March 2-6. The company said the store "will model as inspiration and a vision for a world with no single-use plastics."
"Just as Coors led the way by pioneering the recyclable aluminum can, Coors Light will lead the way by moving out of single-use plastic rings in North America," CEO Gavin Hattersley said in a statement.