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Budweiser to scrap plastic packaging on beer

Budweiser will phase out single-use plastic rings from its UK-produced beer brands by the end of 2020, the brewer has said.

The UK arm of brewing giant AB InBev has announced plans to scrap plastic rings from its entire range – which includes Stella Artois, Budweiser and Bud Light, which would save around 850 tonnes of plastic each year – the equivalent weight of 425 black cabs, 67 double decker buses or 10 blue whales.

Budweiser Brewing Group is spending £6.3 million on upgrading its production facilities in the UK to provide alternatives to single-use plastics, which includes recyclable paperboard, wraps and boxes.

The changes will begin to roll out from March next year, starting with 18-can packs of its cider brand Magners, which will be packaged in recyclable paperboard.

It is hoped the initiative will have a “significant impact” on the amount of plastic on supermarket shelves.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve already done so far, but we realised more needed to be done to address the issue of single use plastics,” Paula Lindenberg, president of Budweiser in the UK, said.

“This announcement ensures that the UK’s favourite beers will soon come in recyclable paperboard packaging, so consumers can make even better choices each time they shop. This is another important step towards a more sustainable future, as we move towards brewing our biggest beer brands with 100% locally-sourced barley and 100% renewable electricity from solar power.”

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said programmes such as Blue Planet II “shone a harsh spotlight on the devastating impact plastic pollution has on our world.”

“Through our landmark Resources and Waste strategy, we’re working to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste and we’ve made real progress – driving down plastic bag use by 90% through the 5p charge, introducing a world-leading ban on microbeads and setting out plans for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers to push up recycling rates.

“But we can’t turn the tide on plastic pollution alone so I’m hugely encouraged to see a major company like Budweiser Brewing Group UKI making substantial investment in green technology to significantly cut its use of plastic by over 850 tonnes a year, the equivalent weight of 67 double decker buses.”

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