Molson Coors Commits to Reduce Plastics in Packaging with the Release of its 2019 Sustainability Report18 August 2019
Molson Coors in the UK and Ireland is removing the plastic packaging from its Carling and Coors Light brands, as part of new global packaging goals announced today. The brewer will remove the plastic film wrap from large multipacks by the end of March 2020, replacing the plastic wrap with 100% recyclable fully enclosed carton board. By the end of March 2021, it will remove plastic rings from Carling and Coors Light cans, switching to 100% recyclable cardboard sleeves.
Molson Coors is investing around £7.5m over the next two years to implement the changes.
The global brewer announced a set of new global packaging goals to reduce plastics in its packaging, aiming for 100% of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. It is also strengthening its goals to drive down packaging emissions, use more recycled materials in its plastic packaging and improve recycling solutions in its key markets.
The new packaging goals have been announced as part of the release of Molson Coors’ annual sustainability report, Our Beer Print Report 2019, which also details its latest performance against its 2025 Our Beer Print sustainability goals and its recently approved science-based emission reduction targets, which align with the Paris Climate Agreement and have been verified by the Science Based Targets initiative.
Science-based targets offer a roadmap for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a level of decarbonization required to limit global temperature increase to well-below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures. Molson Coors’ 2025 goal to lower absolute emissions by 50% within its direct operations was determined as ambitious enough to meet the requirements of the 1.5°C pathway – the latest and most aggressive recommendations set forth by the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“As a global brewer with a strong family heritage, we have always taken seriously our responsibility to brew a more sustainable future,” Molson Coors CEO Mark Hunter said. “Plastic waste poses a clear environmental challenge, and as a consumer-packaged goods company, we play an important role in helping to solve the global waste crisis.”
Commenting on the steps the UK and Ireland business is taking towards achieving the new packaging goals, Kristin Wolfe, Molson Coors UK & Ireland Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, said: “We recognise the challenge of single-use plastics and we’re committed to reducing its use throughout our supply chain. The pledge we’ve made today, both globally and with the local actions we’re taking in the UK & Ireland, will significantly reduce single-use plastics in our packaging, reinforcing our long-term commitment to brewing greener and working towards our 2025 sustainability goals.”
The company’s new packaging strategy outlines four clear goals:
Innovate: Make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable
This includes plans to move from a five-layer PET bottle to a three-layer bottle in the US to enhance its recyclability. Additionally, Colorado Native, one of the company’s US craft brands, has become the first Molson Coors brand to test a new plastic-free, fibre-based six-pack ring for beverage cans. These eco-friendly rings are made from post-industrial recycled fibre and are 100% bio-based, recyclable and compostable in commercial composting facilities.
Accelerate: Incorporate at least 30% recycled content in plastic packaging
Alongside the UK’s decision to remove plastic rings and film wrap from its Carling and Coors Light brands, globally the company is aiming to achieve at least 30% recycled content in its PET bottles, plastic film wrap and plastic rings.
Collaborate: Improve recycling infrastructure and support a better recycling system for communities, government and indus
Molson Coors has signed on to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which is a worldwide initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment that addresses plastic pollution and waste at its source by applying circular economy principles.
Climate: Reduce carbon emissions from packaging by 26%.
The brewer is also strengthening its goal to reduce carbon emissions from its packaging, which is the largest source of emissions across its value chain. As a component of its goal to reduce its value chain emissions by 50% by 2025, Molson Coors set a specific target to cut packaging emissions by 26%, based on a 2016 baseline.