UK – The British alcoholic beverages company, Diageo has announced that some of its beer brands including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s will eliminate use of plastic packaging from its beer packs.

The new sustainable beer packs will be on shelves on the island of Ireland from August 2019 and from Summer 2020 in Great Britain, with plans to introduce the same in international markets.

The new packaging format features recyclable cans, including the widget which is contained inside cans of Draught Guinness.

“For 260 years Guinness has played a vital role in the communities around us,” said Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys and Smirnoff.

“We already have one of the most sustainable breweries in the world at St. James’s Gate and we are now leading the way in sustainable packaging.

“This is good news for the brand, for our wider beer portfolio and for the environment.”

The company said it is investing US$20.95 (£16million) to reduce the amount of plastics used in its beer packaging with a goal of achieving recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging across its portfolio.

This includes introducing 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard to replace plastic in a way to improve on its environmental carbon footprint.

Diageo has indicated that it aims to reduce plastic waste equivalent to removing 40 million 50cl plastic bottles from the world, starting from UK then to Asia.

The new initiative complements the global ambitious goals set by the multinational beer and spirits company which looks to ensure 100% of plastic use is recyclable, reusable or compostable and with increased consumer recycling rates.

By 2030, the firm targets to achieve 100% average recycled content in plastic bottles use and 40% in the short-term.

“Great packaging is essential for our products. Consumers expect our packs to look beautiful, be functional, and sustainable,” said David Cutter, Chief Sustainability Officer and President, Global Supply & Procurement.

“I am proud to announce this investment, through which we have been able to combine all three.

“We have been working tirelessly to make our packaging more environmentally friendly and I’m thrilled with this outcome for Guinness and our other global beer brands.”