World’s lowest-carbon Carlsberg beer bottle? Probably.

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is taking a step closer to its ZERO carbon footprint ambition with a glass beer bottle trial demonstrating the possibility to cut the carbon impact of glass bottles by up to 90%.

  • The trial is being run in partnership with glass bottle supplier, Encirc and uses 100% biofuel and increases recycled content of glass bottles to 100% while maintaining quality
  • 1 million beer bottles have been manufactured for CMBC’s Carlsberg Danish Pilsner brand, to go into circulation in the UK
  • The carbon impact of each bottle is cut by up to 90%, with potential to transform the bottle from the highest-carbon-impact packaging type to the lowest
  • As part of the Glass Futures industry initiative, the trial will feed into UK Government policy through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme

The glass furnace was switched to run on biogas – a renewable fuel made from waste organic materials – with far lower carbon emissions than the natural gas it replaces. At the same time, recycled content of the glass was increased up to 100%, exceeding initial expectations.

Glass bottles account for around 10% of the total beer-in-hand emissions (the full value chain) for Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company. This trial has significant potential to support the brewer’s target to cut emissions across its value chain as part of Carlsberg Group’s Together Towards ZERO programme.

This is the latest in a series of innovations to cut the carbon impact of packaging across Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company. In 2019, on the relaunch of Carlsberg Danish Pilsner in the UK, the bottles were redesigned to make them 10 grams lighter than the ones they replaced, saving over 130 tonnes of glass in the first year alone.

Carlsberg Group has also been recognised for its action on climate change with a place on the prestigious CDP A list, and for its work in engaging with suppliers to tackle climate change through the 2020 Supplier Engagement Leader board.

Sam Brakes, Senior Procurement Manager, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, comments: “We can only achieve our ambitious targets by working together with innovative suppliers like Encirc. This trial has huge potential, transforming glass from the highest carbon impact packaging format to the lowest. We’re proud to be working with pioneers in the industry, contributing to the development of a low-carbon future, and going Together Towards ZERO.”

Mark Comline, Senior Category Director Group Packaging Materials, Carlsberg Group, adds: “We are delighted this ground-breaking trial has successfully proven and produced ultra-low carbon Carlsberg glass beer bottles. Across Carlsberg we are inspired to work together towards a zero-carbon future. Trials like this in partnership with Encirc are a massive leap towards making it a reality.”

Adrian Curry, Managing Director at Encirc commented: “This is a truly momentous occasion for glass. We have set the standard globally with this trial and now the glass industry needs to work towards realising what we’ve proved is possible. We now know that glass can be the most sustainable of all packaging types and must all work together to ensure that happens.”

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