Absolut hits recycled materials target four years early

The circular economy is a key pillar of the company’s sustainability strategy and will also assist with efforts to reduce emissions

Late last year, Absolut announced that production of its Vodka products will be fossil-fuel-free by 2025, as part of a wider ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2030 without relying on offset use.

The company is also aiming to apply eco-design principles to reduce lifecycle emissions from 50% of its projects by 2021 and 100% of new projects by 2022.

Part of this strategy also included an aim to use 50% recycled content in packaging by 2025, an ambition that has been met for glass bottles.

“This is proof that our sustainability work is at the forefront of everything we do. We already run one of the world’s most energy-efficient distilleries and our overall sustainability targets remain ambitious. To reach some of our targets, well before deadline, is very pleasing,” The Absolut Company’s chief executive Stephanie Durroux said.

Trials ahead

The circular economy is a key pillar of the company’s sustainability strategy and will also assist with efforts to reduce emissions.

The Absolut Company has trialled 2,000 paper-based bottle prototypes across Sweden and the UK to test the viability of paper as an alternative to single-use plastics in beverage applications.

In 2019, Danish brewer Carlsberg unveiled prototypes of the world’s first beer bottles made from recyclable and bio-based materials. Carlsberg will test the barrier technology with the ambition of being able to commercialise a 100% bio-based bottle that doesn’t contain polymers.

The move kick-started the formation of Paboco, the Paper Bottle Company, which is a joint venture between renewables material company BillerudKorsnäs and plastic bottle manufacturing specialist Alpla.

On the day of its formation, Paboco launched a paper bottle community. The Absolut Company is one of the founding pioneers of this community and has been joined by The Coca-Cola Company, Carlsberg and L’Oréal.

Commenting on the achievement, Absolut’s VP of operations Anna Schreil said: “We have a close and long-term collaboration with our glass manufacturer Ardagh. Through weight reductions, increased use of recycled glass and other measures, we have reduced CO2-emission from glass production by 10 % in only five years and continue to work toward improving this even further.”

Matt Mace

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