Beverage companies have increasing awareness of the amount of waste they produce, and we are beginning to see them take steps toward sustainability in their packaging. There are many factors at play when considering beverage packaging, as the materials range from bottle tops to labels. We’re excited to see new ideas emerging – even if only on small scales to start.
Carlsberg Beer made a lot of headlines in 2019 with their sustainability initiatives. First came a prototype paper beer bottle, and then they nixed the plastic rings on their six packs for glued together cans. Now, they’re focusing on the ink used in printing the bottle labels to allow for full recyclability of the entire bottle. These innovations represent some of the first consumer-facing manifestations of Carlsberg’s sustainability efforts launched in Europe last year and now rolling out in Australia.
- Make 100% of packaging reusable, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable.
- Incorporate at least 30% recycled content into plastic packaging.
- Improve recycling infrastructure (This is vague, and we’re interested to know what exactly this means).
- Reduce carbon emissions by 26% (many brands are making claims like this – we’re interested to see how this goal will be proven if achieved).
You may wonder how a plastic bottle is sustainable at all, regardless of how many layers it has, when compared to the very recyclable glass bottle option. The beneficial sustainability aspect comes from the weight of the substrate. Plastic is lighter. It creates less of a carbon footprint during the shipping/transport process because of its lesser weight. Yes, plastic has been terrible for our environment. But we’ve made terrible choices with our plastic waste. Who said we should ship it out into the ocean and dump it? That guy’s a jerk. Don’t be that guy. We live in a modern world where we will always buy and use packaged goods. Plastic is not the demon material 100% of the time. But NOT recycling plastic or using recycled plastic when possible will always be bad, and sending it out into the ocean as garbage is just ludicrous.