Guinness maker Diageo to remove plastic from beer packaging

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The maker of Guinness has announced it is ditching plastic beer packaging in favour of recyclable and biodegradable cardboard.

Plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap will be removed from multipacks of all Diageo beer products – including Irish stout Guinness, lagers Harp and Rockshore, and the red ale Smithwick’s.

The new packaging – part of a 18.5 million euro (£16m) investment to reduce the amount of plastic that Diageo uses – will be first used at a bottling and packaging plant in Belfast and appear on shelves in Ireland from August.

It will arrive in the UK and other markets, including the US, Canada, South Korea and Europe, next year.

Diageo, which claims less than 5% of the packaging it currently uses is plastic, expects the change to reduce plastic usage at the company by more than 400 tonnes annually.

Oliver Loomes, country director of Diageo Ireland, said: “Managing our environmental impact is important for the planet and the financial sustainability of our business.

“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 environment and for our brand.”

Diageo is the latest in an increasingly long line of major companies to make a big plastics pledge.

Last year, McDonald’s said it would start phasing out plastic straws from its UK restaurants and the Premier League announced an aim to remove single-use plastics from its own operations.

And back in January, Marks & Spencer began trialling plastic-free produce at one of its stores.

:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com.

(c) Sky News 2019: Guinness maker Diageo to remove plastic from beer packaging

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