From Crop to Consumption

AB InBev eliminates plastic rings from beer portfolio

AB InBev has reached another exciting circular packaging milestone as its entire portfolio of iconic beers from Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I is now plastic-ring free.

That means cans of Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and Beck’s in the UK will now be packaged with alternatives like fully recyclable wraps and the KeelClip, a new technology which uses recyclable paperboard to create a lighter weight pack.

Along with decreasing its usage of plastic shrink wrap, Ab InBev will be eliminating 850 tonnes of plastic waste, the equivalent weight of 67 double decker buses, every year. 

This change takes the company one step closer to achieving our 2025 Sustainability Goal of having 100% of its products in packaging that is returnable or made from majority recycled content. 

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I first announced the ambition to go plastic-free in September 2019. After investing £6.3 million into packaging infrastructure at breweries in South Wales and Lancashire, it has been able to reach its goal in just 13 months. 

Paula Lindenberg, President of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said of the initiative: “We couldn’t have predicted the events of this year, but we were determined to not let this hinder our sustainability progress. It’s why I’m so proud that we’ve met our target of removing plastic-rings and shrink wrap from all our canned beers. Thanks to the hard work of our teams, there will be no plastic-rings on any canned beer that leaves our breweries in the UK from today.”

To make this circular packaging goal a reality, the breweries, which produce a combined 4,000-plus cans per minute, upgraded three canning lines and are now fully equipped to produce alternatives to plastic-rings, including the KeelClip, which was recently honoured with two awards at the prestigious Pro Carton/ECMA European Carton Excellence Awards 2020. 

“We are delighted that this forward-thinking innovation, launched in collaboration with Graphic Packaging, has been recognised at this level by Pro Carton, ECMA and the public,” said Michaela Miedl, Innovation and Technology Director for AB InBev – Europe.

“KeelClip is a perfect example of premium innovation that supports sustainability and improves the consumer experience.”