UK: five brewers introduce lightweight bottles

Beer, lager and cider brands including Miller Genuine Draft, Strongbow and Marston“s are now available in new lighter bottles which five of the UK“s top brewers have adopted as part of an industry-w…

Beer, lager and cider brands including Miller Genuine Draft, Strongbow and Marston“s are now available in new lighter bottles which five of the UK“s top brewers have adopted as part of an industry-wide response to consumer demand for more environmentally-friendly packaging. The new bottles were adopted as a result of brewers working with WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and GTS (Glass Technology Services) through the GlassRite programme, an initiative involving all sectors of the drinks supply chain to reduce the weight of glass packaging. The new bottles look remarkably similar to their predecessors, but save thousands of tonnes of glass and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. The combined efforts of the five brewers have saved 3,800 tonnes of glass and 2,515 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of taking more than 800 cars off the road. SABMiller has reduced the weight of its 330ml bottle for Miller Genuine Draft by 8% while Scottish & Newcastle has introduced a new lighter weight bottle for its Strongbow and Strongbow Sirrus cider, reducing the weight by 14%. Marston“s has introduced a new 500ml bottle across its whole range which is 22% lighter than its predecessor. Wells & Young“s has taken 21% out of its 660ml Cobra bottle, while retaining its characteristic embossed logo. This follows on from the 330ml Cobra bottle in 2005. Frederic Robinson“s Ltd has taken 24% out of its 500ml bottle, which is used for Robinson“s own beers plus others from the Black Sheep Brewery and Broughton Ales. This bottle now matches the lightest 500ml bottle used in the UK. The new packs follow-on from previous beer lightweighting achievements which include the development of a new Grolsch 300ml bottle, which uses 23% less glass than the original design. In addition, Adnams cut the weight of its ale bottle by 34% to 299 grams, a reduction on their previous bottle and about 40 grams lighter than the previous Best in Class bottle. Andy Dawe, WRAP“s head of Retail Programmes said: “GlassRite has led the way and shown what can be done to lightweight glass containers. It is very encouraging to see so many major lager, ale and cider brands redesigning their bottles in-line with changing consumer and industry expectations”. WRAP has also been working to help create lightweight wine bottles which have been adopted by supermarkets Morrisons and Tesco, and wine brand owners Constellation Europe and PLB Wines. Most recently, Broadland Wineries, the UK“s joint largest contract bottler launched the country“s first light-weighted bottle for sparkling wine. These developments are already delivering significant energy and carbon savings. The GlassRite Beer, Cider and Spirits project is managed for WRAP by Glass Technology Services. They help glass packaging suppliers and users create new lightweight packs by offering technical advice, carrying out consumer perception research and running commercial trials.