Plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap will be removed from multipacks of Diageo’s beer brands including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s

Guinness is investing $ 20.9 million (£16m) to reduce the amount of plastics used in their beer packaging.

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The new investment will see:

- 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)

- 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.

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Global Head of Beer, Baileys, and Smirnoff Mark Sandys 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, Chief Sustainability Officer and President, Global Supply & Procurement, said: “Consumers expect our packs to look beautiful, be functional, and sustainable.”

Currently, under 5% of our total packaging around the world is plastic and in 2018, Guinness announced new plastics targets from 2025 and beyond.

Guinness are continuously looking for ways to work with their suppliers, customers and consumers to make our packaging more sustainable and their targets ensure that 100% of plastics used are designed to be widely recyclable, or reusable/compostable.

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Guinness’ global plastics targets for 2025 are:

- to ensure 100% of its plastic use is designed to be widely recyclable (or reusable/compostable), using plastics that allow for increased consumer recycling rates

- achieve 40% average recycled content in its plastic bottles - and 100% by 2030

- continue to invest in circular economy opportunities and other sustainable packaging breakthroughs

- accelerate their support for recycling by increasing collaboration, particularly where they have influence, and engaging with Governments, peers, and consumers to facilitate improved recycling.

Are you impressed by this move by Guinness? Would you be more likely to purchase products with recyclable packaging? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Diageo plans to nix plastic packaging on Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s.Guinness