The Independent Brewers Association, Endeavour Group and Lion have rolled out initiatives this month aimed at reducing plastic waste in beer packaging.
In partnership the Independent Brewers Association (IBA), East Coast Canning, Visy Recycling and PakTech, Endeavour Group has launched a can clip reuse and recycling program in selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores.
“Many beer lovers are familiar with the can clips that hold four and six packs of brews together, but many don’t realise that the clips are made of such sturdy material that they can be reused more than 50 times before being recycled and made into new clips,” said Endeavour Group Quality & Sustainability Manager Diarmaid O’Mordha.
“Can clips are a great option for a circular economy, but there have been no multi-state recycling options available for customers where they can return the clips so many end up in landfill, which is why we have initiated this industry-wide reuse and recycling scheme,” he added.
Customers simply place used can clips in the can clip collection units in BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores, which are then picked up by local independent breweries such as All In Brewing in Brisbane, Willie the Boatman in Sydney and Temple Brewing in Melbourne or mobile canning company East Coast Canning for reuse.
“Here at All Inn Brewing Co, we saw it as a no-brainer to get involved,” said All In Brewing’s Head of Sales Luke Phillips (above). “It’s such a great and simple way to give something back to not only the environment but also our local community.”
Once the clip cans have been reused by brewers to the end of their lifespan, they are sent to Visy Recyling where they are converted into HDPE resin (high-density polyethylene), which is then returned to PakTech – the company that produces the can clips – so they can create more clips.
“This is the first time an Australian retailer has launched a can clip recycling program, and we are very excited because with a robust recycling program in place, can clips are incredibly sustainable and a great option for a circular economy,” said IBA’s Chief Executive Officer Kylie Lethbridge. “As a bonus, it will help our brewery members reduce costs while making a positive contribution to the environment,”
“This new model reflects similar systems already in place in the US and Canada. It presents a great opportunity to manage and mitigate our impact on the environment as these clips will no longer end up in landfill,” she added.
The PakTech can clips are already made from 100% recycled HDPE material that has been used by consumers and collected for recycling like milk jugs, thus already providing a second life to the material.
“PakTech is excited to be partnering with the Endeavor Group, Visy Recycling and the IBA to help promote the reuse and recycling of our products in Australia,” PakTech Sustainability Officer Gary Panknin said. “This type of program promotes a true circular economy.”
IBA members who are interested in reusing the can clips that are collected at BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores are encouraged to reach out to the association, to their Endeavour Group merchandise manager or to their local Dan Murphy’s or BWS store.
Customers can find the recycling units in the following BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores:
NSW: Dan Murphy’s Alexandria, Dan Murphy’s Willoughby, Dan Murphy’s Leichhardt, Dan Murphy’s Manly Vale, BWS Marrickville, BWS Glebe, BWS Mascot
VIC: Dan Murphy’s Brunswick East, Dan Murphy’s Collingwood, Dan Murphy’s Prahran, BWS Richmond, BWS Brunswick, BWS Fitzroy
QLD: Dan Murphy’s Newstead, Dan Murphy’s Woolloongabba, BWS West End Boundary Street, BWS Nundah Village, BWS Ashgrove
Endeavour Group is aiming to roll out the recycling scheme in more stores later this financial year.
Lion pledges to eliminate plastic waste from beer packaging
Lion has announced that it will dramatically reduce the two largest sources of plastic in its packaging – plastic shrink-wrap and plastic labels on beer bottles.
The decision will remove more than 630 tonnes of plastic waste per year from circulation – keeping it out of landfill and away from our oceans.
Lion’s Head of Sustainability Libby Davidson said that Lion’s first step would be to remove plastic shrink-wrap from its beer packaging within the next two years, meaning the plastic shrink-wrap currently found on six packs of cans and bottles for iconic brands such as XXXX, Tooheys, and James Boag’s would be eliminated completely by the end of 2023.
The second step is to transition away from plastic labels on beer bottles and replace these with sustainable alternatives such as biodegradable labels or paper alternatives by the end of the decade.
“There is no doubt this is an aggressive strategy. We have challenged ourselves and taken a number of steps further than many other players in our industry by putting forward a detailed and transparent commitment with clear objectives and timeframe,” Davidson said.
“Lion has been a pioneer in sustainable packaging. We were the first major Australian brewer to stop using plastic rings in six-packs, and we’re already closing in on a goal of 100% recyclable plastic packaging and 50% recycled content.
“But we can go further, and we’ve identified an opportunity here to address two significant sources of plastic in our supply chain.”
Over the next 12 months Lion will work with packaging suppliers to confirm alternatives to shrink-wrap for all product lines by the end of 2023.
The use of shrink-wrap around six-packs of cans, as an example, will cease completely by the end of this year, with stubbies and long necks to follow.
The combined effect of the two initiatives will cut Lion’s plastic use in the market by more than half.
For the XXXX brand alone, removing shrink-wrap will reduce its total plastic use by 70% by 2023.