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Budweiser gives plastic rings the finger

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I has pledged to remove all plastic rings from its entire product range by the end of 2020.

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Paula Lindenberg, president of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I

The announcement follows a multi-million-pound investment in green technology at its South Wales and Lancashire breweries.

The group, which boasts a range of popular beer brands such as Stella Artois, Budweiser and Bud Light, currently uses 117 million tonnes of plastic rings each year to hold its beer packs together.

As well as this, 600 tonnes of shrink film is used in the group’s packaging, meaning the equivalent weight of 67 double decker buses will be saved.

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I produces almost 17 million cans each week and the new technology will allow it to produce up to 2,000 cans per minute in a recyclable paperboard “clip” called a Keel Clip.

“We will be reconfiguring our entire canning production lines in both of our main breweries to introduce this machinery and expand overall paperboard packaging capacity, so that we can ensure all plastic rings are eliminated,” says Elise Dickinson, head of innovation at the group.

Protecting our natural resources and operating efficiently is crucial for our business, as well as the communities we live and work in

Commenting on the journey the group has been on to get to this stage, Paula Lindenberg, president of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, says: “Protecting our natural resources and operating efficiently is crucial for our business, as well as the communities we live and work in.

“This is why 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.”

In similar news, C&C Group, a distribution partner for Budweiser Brewing Group, has revealed plans to cut plastic rings and shrink wrap across its British Cider portfolio.

Coca-Cola has also announced it will swap 4,000 metric tonnes of shrink wrap for cardboard in Western Europe, having recognised growing demand from customers for sustainable alternatives for packaging.

The soft drink giant’s Action on Packaging outlines its commitments to making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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