Diageo to remove plastic ring carriers from beer multipacks

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Diageo to remove plastic ring carriers from beer multipacks
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Beverage producer Diageo has announced that it is removing plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap from multipacks of its beer brands including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s.  

The firm is investing £16 million in an aim to reduce the amount of plastics used in its beer packaging, which will see: 

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  • An introduction of 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard to replace plastic 
  • A reduction in plastic waste that is equivalent to removing 40 million 50cl plastic bottles from the world.  

Multi-can packs will be replaced by cardboard packs, which are sustainably sourced, fully biodegradable and recyclable.  

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The new packs will be on shelves in Ireland from August 2019 and in Great Britain and other international markets from summer 2020.  

Diageo 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.” 

Currently, under 5% of the firm’s total packaging globally is plastic and in 2018, it announced its new plastics targets from 2025, which include achieving 40% average recycled content in its plastic bottles, and 100% by 2030. 

Diageo chief sustainability officer and president, global supply and procurement David Cutter said: “Great packaging is essential for our products. 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.” 

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