Heineken UK delists PET bottles, saves 170 tonnes of plastic waste per year

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Green issues: Heineken UK has stopped using PET materials in its bottles for the on-trade
Green issues: Heineken UK has stopped using PET materials in its bottles for the on-trade

Related tags: Beer, Cider, Social responsibility, Branding + marketing

Brewer Heineken UK has delisted all PET bottles from its on-trade network.

The business said removal of PET for its beer and cider products will save almost six million PET bottles or 170 tonnes of plastic per year. The company has also delisted all third-party PET SKUs (stock-keeping units) from its e-commerce website, encouraging direct-supplied customers to switch to more sustainable alternatives such as aluminium or glass, which can be recycled.  

Heineken UK said 78 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated per year globally and, by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean. It added consumers, particularly Generation Z, are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, with 79% changing their purchasing habits based on sustainability.

Positive change

“It’s therefore now more important than ever for businesses to effect positive change for the planet and provide customers with opportunities to ‘do the right thing’,” Heineken UK said. 

To further reduce environmental impact, following successful trials Heineken UK is offering on-trade operators, festivals and stadia environmentally friendlier cups for events, as an alternative to single-use plastic.

The business offers reusable rental cups, which means customers can use once and return without washing –some of its cups can be used 500-plus times before being recycled. Heineken UK said each reusable cup uses significantly fewer materials and lower energy consumption during its lifetime than producing the equivalent number of single-use cups.

Paper alternative

Alternatively, Heineken’s paper cups can be recycled in normal waste paper streams, and are biodegradable, compostable and re-pulpable. 

Heineken said that during the past 10 years, it has worked on its sustainability strategy called Brew a Better World​, which focuses on the environment, social sustainability and responsible consumption.

PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, which is a form of polyester.

Related topics: Beer

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