Diageo to remove plastic from Guinness multipacks

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Drinks firm will replace holders with 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard packs

Plastic can holders and shrinkwrap are to be removed from multipacks of Guinness, its owner, Diageo, will announce on Monday.

Diageo is phasing out plastic packaging from multipacks of its Guinness, Harp, Rockshore and Smithwick’s beers and replacing it with 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard packs.

The new packaging will appear on shelves in Ireland in August, followed by the UK and other international markets in 2020. Individual cans are already fully recyclable, including the widget inside cans of Draught Guinness that creates its creamy head.

Diageo said it is investing £16m to reduce the amount of plastic used in its beer packaging as part of a drive to create more sustainable packaging in the war against single-use plastics. Less than 5% of its packaging is plastic and the company said the move would further reduce usage by more than 400 tonnes annually, the equivalent of 40m 50cl plastic bottles.

“For 260 years Guinness has played a vital role in the communities around us,” said Mark Sandys, the global head of beer at Diageo. “We already have one of the most sustainable breweries in the world at St James’s Gate [in Dublin] 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.”’

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