Guinness commits to removing all plastic from multi-can packs

Guinness manufacturer, Diageo, has vowed to stock new sustainable beer packages on the shelves of Ireland as early as this summer.

The drinks giant will remove all plastic packaging from Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s and Rockshore, four beers from their vast range of brands.

Cans of Guinness are already 100 per cent recyclable but now the plastic ring carriers and wrapping on the multipacks, less than 5 per cent of the overall packaging, will follow.

The eco-friendly packs will arrive in Irish stores during August 2019 and follow internationally the summer of 2020.

According to an Independent.ie report, the €18.5million initiative will fund the replacement of all plastic holders with fully recyclable and biodegradable cardboard.

Diageo is ploughing an impressive €9.25million into their bottling and packaging site in East Belfast, the first facility to make the fully sustainable packaging.

This will help reduce Guinness’ carbon footprint and to reduce plastic pollution.

Mark Sandys, Diageo’s Global Head of Beer, Baileys and Smirnoff, referred to the initiative as “leading the way” in eco-friendly packaging worldwide.

He 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.”

The changes will reduce the company’s annual use of plastic by more than 400 tonnes, making a positive step towards addressing the current global plastic crisis.

Oliver Loomes, Country Director of Diageo Ireland, said, “Managing our environmental impact is important for the planet and the financial sustainability of our business.”

While David Cutter, Chief Sustainability Officer and President, Global Supply and Procurement, added, “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.”

Watch out for the new packs in shops across Ireland this August to enjoy some guilt-free pleasure sinking a couple of cans in the warm Irish sun.