Sustainable Energy

Guinness brewer Diageo to scrap plastic packaging for its beer

Key Points
  • The business is investing £16 million to cut the amount of plastic it uses in beer packaging.
  • Diageo will soon use recyclable and biodegradable cardboard instead of plastic. 
  • One of its most famous brands is Guinness, an Irish stout. 

Global beer and spirits maker Diageo is to scrap plastic packaging from its multipacks of beer.

In a statement Monday the business said it was investing £16 million ($20.96 million) to cut the amount of plastic it used in beer packaging.

Instead of plastic, Diageo – whose brands include Guinness – will use "100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard" in its multipacks of beer.

The new packaging will be introduced on the island of Ireland in August 2019 and Great Britain and other global markets from the summer of 2020. Individual cans of beer are already recyclable.

"Consumers expect our packs to look beautiful, be functional, and sustainable," David Cutter, Diageo's chief sustainability officer and president of global supply and procurement, said in a statement on Monday.

"I am proud to announce this investment, through which we have been able to combine all three," Cutter added. "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."

Diageo is one of many major businesses attempting to improve the sustainability of its packaging. In January 2018, for example, Evian said it would produce all its plastic bottles from 100 percent recycled plastic by 2025.

Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste per year, according to the European Commission. Less than 30% of this is recycled, the Commission adds.