Tennent's invests £7m to remove plastic packaging from beer cans

Scottish brewer Tennent's is investing £7m into new packaging technology at its Glasgow-based brewery which will remove more than 100 million plastic rings from its lager can packs by 2022.

According to Tennent’s, the new equipment will remove 150 tonnes of plastic from Tennent’s Lager can packs by 2022

According to Tennent’s, the new equipment will remove 150 tonnes of plastic from Tennent’s Lager can packs by 2022

The £7m investment will introduce new packaging at the Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow and is expected to commence over the next few months. As well as being able to produce up to 120,000 cans per hour, products will also be housed in fully recyclable cardboard, rather than plastic. Tennent’s is aiming to make the Brewery net-zero carbon by 2025.

According to Tennent’s, the new equipment will remove 150 tonnes of plastic from Tennent’s Lager can packs by 2022, including more than 100 million plastic rings. It will be the first time in more than 40 years that the company’s larger cans do not contain any plastic packaging.

Tennent’s parent company C&C Group’s engineering manager Martin Doogan said: “Sustainability is at the core of our business and we will always look for ways to innovate and minimise our impact on the environment to play our part in tackling the climate crisis. Today’s announcement is the latest step as we work towards our 2022 goal of eliminating single-use plastic from our consumer packaging and our ongoing commitment to environmental best practice in everything we do.

“As part of our commitments around plastics, we continue to be the only brewer who is a member of the UK Plastics Pact, which guides our initiatives and sets stringent additional targets on plastic packaging, waste and recyclates. Together with our new carbon recapture facility and the anaerobic digestion plant, we are well on our way to achieving our pledge to make Wellpark net carbon zero.”

In 2019, Tennent's pledged to eradicate single-use plastics from its packaging by 2021 and to become carbon-neutral by 2025 - commitments it has backed with a €16m investment package.

In order to help the Glasgow-based firm meet its 2025 carbon target, a large proportion of the investment has been spent on installing an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant near its HQ in Wellpark. The AD unit treats the wastewater generated as a by-product in brewing processes, resulting in clean water and biogas. The water can be reused at the plant while the biogas can cover 5% of the site’s overall energy needs.

Further investments will now be made in sourcing 100% renewable energy for Tennent’s’ operations by 2025, through a mixture of onsite generation and purchase agreements, and completing a carbon-capture facility at Wellpark.

Matt Mace



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