Going green: Tennent’s to end use of multipack plastic beer can rings

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TENNENT’S is ending the use of plastic rings and wrapping which has traditionally bound its multi-packs of beer in its bid to invest £14 million on environmental initiatives.

The cans of the popular Glasgow-based beer brand is to be packaged in recyclable cardboard instead of the traditional single-use plastics rings.

In 2019 a petition was launched to challenge the Scottish brewing giants to move away from plastic packaging.

Now new equipment at Wellpark Brewery will see the final stage in removing more than 150 tonnes of plastic from Tennent’s Lager can packs by 2022 including more than 100m plastic rings.

The company said the £7 million investment sees it “well on its way” to eradicating single use plastic from consumer packaging.

Work at the brewer is expected to complete in spring 2021, when the brewer will be able to produce up to 120,000 cans per hour, packaged in fully recyclable cardboard.

The new packaging area will remove all plastic packaging from Tennent’s Lager can formats for the first time in more than 40 years.

Martin Doogan, group engineering manager at C&C Group plc, Tennent’s parent company, said: “Sustainability is at the core of our business and we will always look for ways to innovate and minimise our impact on the environment to play our part in tackling the climate crisis.

“Today’s announcement is the latest step as we work towards our 2022 goal of eliminating single use plastic from our consumer packaging and our ongoing commitment to environmental best practice in everything we do.

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“As part of our commitments around plastics, we continue to be the only brewer who is a member of the UK Plastics Pact, which guides our initiatives and sets stringent additional targets on plastic packaging, waste and recyclates.

“Together with our new carbon recapture facility and the anaerobic digestion plant, we are well on our way to achieving our pledge to make Wellpark net carbon zero.”

In 2019, the firm pledged to go carbon neutral by 2025, which would save the equivalent of 27,000 flights between Glasgow and London every year in emissions.

Shrink-wrap was to be phased out, and new equipment will aim to make the production process more sustainable.

The company also linked with the 2050 Climate Group, a group aiming to empower young people to take action on climate change, and devised a series of “pint and a plan” workshops which were designed to breed activism and action on global warming.

And Tennent’s said it was the first brewer to join the UK Plastics Pact, which aims to rethink the design and use of products to cut down on the use of plastic.

Environment and climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Plastic waste, much of it single use, is not only wasteful but generates litter that is hugely damaging for our oceans, rivers and ecosystems. By acting now to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic and moves towards more sustainable, environmentally friendly alternatives, we can turn the tide. This, of course, is not only the responsibility of government and individuals but manufacturers and businesses too.

“By taking action which supports the environment, such as switching from single use plastics and taking steps to becoming carbon neutral, businesses can help build a more circular economy.”

Terry A’Hearn, Scottish Environment Protection Agency chief executive added: “Across the world, corporates, communities and consumers are clear on the need for urgent climate action. In Scotland, iconic brands like Tennent’s are transforming their business models to grasp this climate of opportunity and show bold leadership towards one planet prosperity.

“We warmly welcome this latest boost to circularity as the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).”

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