Diageo investing £16m to reduce plastic waste

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Green move: the packaging change will reduce Diageo's plastic consumption by some 400 tonnes a year
Green move: the packaging change will reduce Diageo's plastic consumption by some 400 tonnes a year
Drinks giant Diageo is investing £16m to reduce the amount of plastics used in its beer packaging by removing plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap from multipacks of Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s.

Currently, less than 5% of Diageo’s total packaging is plastic and this change will reduce the drinks company’s plastic usage by more than 400 tonnes annually. This is the equivalent of removing 40 million 50cl plastic bottles from the globe, which, if laid out in a row, would reach from London to Beijing (8,136km).

The multi-can packs will be replaced by cardboard packs, which are sustainably sourced, recyclable and fully biodegradable. Individual cans are fully recyclable, including the widget, which is contained inside cans of draught Guinness.

Vital role

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’ 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.”

Hard work and determination has gone into the new packaging for Diageo, according to chief sustainability officer and president of global supply and procurement David Cutter.

He 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.”

Sales results

Meanwhile, Diageo revealed at the beginning of the year (January) that continued growth in gin sales helped the business achieve a 5.8% net sales increase​ in the second half of 2018.

In its interim results for the half year ending 31 December 2018, Diageo revealed its net sales had risen to £6.9bn, with the company’s latest operating profit of £2.4bn – an 11% increase.

Moreover, the drinks giant also revealed that all regions had contributed to broad-based organic net sales growth, which increased by 7.5%, with organic volume rising by 3.5%.

Related topics: Beer

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