UK – UK-based multinational alcoholic beverage manufacturer Diageo has collaborated with glass manufacturer Encirc to trial a glass whisky bottle that can reduce the carbon impact of its bottle production by up to 90%.

Research and technology body Glass Futures was also involved in the development process that used waste-based biofuel-powered furnaces to produce the glass for  Diageo’s  Black & White Scotch whisky brand.

Aston Fuller, general manager of Glass Futures, said: “Glass is a fully recyclable and highly sustainable product, and through this trial, with Encirc we are seeing the dawn of net-zero technologies with this full-scale trial of a new alternative low-carbon fuel.”

As part of the trial, the companies produced 173,000 bottles of  Black & White Scotch whisky brand using 100% recycled glass.

“We are committed to creating a sustainable future for our business and that includes looking for innovative new ways to make our bottles and packaging that reduces the carbon footprint of our products,” said John Aird, senior packaging technologist at Diageo, who led the project for the company.

“This trial is just a first step in the journey to decarbonise this aspect of our supply chain and we still have a long way to go, but we are delighted with the results of the collaboration and the platform it creates for future innovation,” he added.

Diageo’s trial follows similar initiatives between Encirc and Molson Coors and Carlsberg in trialling low-carbon beer bottles.

In February, Carlsberg announced that 1 million beer low-carbon bottles have been manufactured for the Carlsberg Danish Pilsner brand, one of the beer groups most popular brand globally.

Molson Coors, on the other hand, begun distributing its Staropramen beer brand in new low-carbon bottles in early March.

Following the trial, Diageo has entered into a ten-year partnership with Glass Futures to accelerate collaboration and innovation in the glass industry.

“We see Glass Futures as a great opportunity to develop new technology and to help deliver net-zero glass manufacturing and we are delighted to support them in that mission,” said Aird.

Diageo has committed to working towards a low-carbon future and has a goal of achieve net zero carbon emissions across direct operations and working with suppliers to reduce indirect carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.

Various initiatives have thus been launched since the unveiling of the 10-year sustainability plan in 2020. Diageo has for instance announced that it has created the ‘first-ever’ 100% plastic-free, paper-based spirits bottle.

The bottle made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams will debut with Johnnie Walker in early 2021.

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