Industry News

Drinks industry off the pace on green issues

By 21st February 2020 June 30th, 2023 No Comments

From high water usage to packaging materials and recycling, the drinks industry has fallen far behind best practice on environmental issues, according to a new report.

The Drinks Industry Sustainability Index scores just 4.8 out of 10 in a new publication by C&C Group plc, whose brands include Tennent’s, Bulmers and Magners, and researcher Footprint Intelligence.

“It is clear that whilst the industry has made some good inroads, with certain players at the vanguard of this transformation, the industry at large has a long way to go on its sustainability journey,” the report said.

Some idea of the scale of the problems facing the industry are shown by its consumption of raw materials.

According to the report, Coca-Cola said it produces three million tonnes of plastic packaging per year.

“Multiply these figures across the entire alcohol and soft drinks industry, and plastic packaging adds up to a massive sustainability challenge,” the report said.

In addition, just 50pc of glass containers are currently recycled in the UK, with bars, restaurants and pubs accounting for 200,000 tonnes of glass going to landfill each year.

“We made an announcement about moving our Tennent’s can packs out of plastic to cardboard,” said Martin Doogan, group engineering manager at C&C.

“We did a lot of benchmarking, best-practice analysis and consumer research to find the most beneficial and environmentally positive solution.

“And the response across all stakeholders was extremely positive, with universal acknowledgement that we are trying to do the right thing,” he said.


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