British multinational alcoholic beverage company Diageo has decided to remove plastic packaging from multipacks of its beer brands that include Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick’s. The plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap will be replaced by cardboard that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable and is sustainably sourced.
This positive change will bring a reduction of plastic that is commensurate with removing a massive 40 million 50 cl plastic bottles from the earth.
The initiative that will cost Diageo 16 million pounds will be rolled out in phases. These new beer packs will be available in Ireland from August 2019, and in other international locations by the summer of 2020.
#Guinness is removing plastic packaging from its beer packs! 🙌 Cardboard will replace plastic ring carriers & shrink wrap from multipacks of Guinness, Harp & Smithwick’s beer, equivalent to removing 40 million 50cl plastic bottles. More here: https://t.co/99572ST2Gg pic.twitter.com/rME6zDqtUo
— Diageo News (@Diageo_News) April 15, 2019
It also gave out its plastic targets for 2025 that include achieving 40% average recycled content in its plastic bottles, ensuring that 100% of its plastic is recyclable, and investing in sustainable packing breakthroughs.
David Cutter, Chief Sustainability Officer and President – Global Supply and Procurement, said, “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.”
This move was lauded by environmentalists across the world.
Earlier in 2018, Diageo had also committed to phasing out the use of plastic straws and stirrers to reduce plastic.
More about Diageo
Headquartered in London and having offices across the world, Diageo was once the world’s biggest distiller. It produces a range of alcoholic beverages that include beer, vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, whiskey, and tequila among others. Some of its prominent brands include Smirnoff – the world’s best-selling Vodka, Baileys, Johnie Walker, and Guinness.
Others that are Committed to Reducing Plastic
With the rate at which global warming and climate change are accelerating, all businesses must look seriously into reducing their plastic usage. While not all businesses are doing enough, a few of Diageo’s competitors have begun some positive initiatives. For instance, global brewer Carlsberg announced its decision to use glue instead of plastic to hold its beer cans together.
Also, Evian – a brand of mineral water – committed to producing all its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025. Nestle, the famous food and beverage company, also introduced paper straws to replace plastic ones in its products.
Unfortunately, an estimated 8 million tons of plastic is being released into the oceans each year. Many scientists believe that in a few decades from now, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. Isn’t this appalling?
It is the responsibility of each of us to reduce the menace of plastic pollution. It adversely impacts marine life and wildlife habitat. Further, because its structure renders it resistant to degradation, it tends to stay in the environment for long, causing much harm.
What do you think about this move? Don’t you think other organizations must follow suit?