A £7 million investment in packaging equipment at Wellpark Brewery sees Tennent’s well on its way to eradicating single use plastic from consumer packaging. The investment, first announced in October 2019 as part of a series of ‘Because Life is Bigger than Beer’ initiatives, will remove 150 tonnes of plastic from Tennent’s Lager can packs by 2022, including more than 100 million plastic (hi- and mid-cone) rings.
Work at the famous Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow has commenced and is expected to complete in spring 2021, when the brewer will be able to produce up to 120,000 cans per hour, packaged in fully recyclable cardboard. Made possible by a multi-million-pound investment in plant machinery, the new packaging area will remove all plastic packaging from Tennent’s Lager can formats for the first time in more than 40 years.
Martin Doogan, Group Engineering Manager at C&C Group plc, Tennent’s parent company, said:
“Sustainability is at the core of our business and we will always look for ways to innovate and minimise our impact on the environment to play our part in tackling the climate crisis. Today’s announcement is the latest step as we work towards our 2022 goal of eliminating single use plastic from our consumer packaging and our ongoing commitment to environmental best practice in everything we do.
“As part of our commitments around plastics, we continue to be the only brewer who is a member of the UK Plastics Pact, which guides our initiatives and sets stringent additional targets on plastic packaging, waste and recyclates.
“Together with our new carbon recapture facility and the anaerobic digestion plant, we are well on our way to achieving our pledge to make Wellpark net carbon zero.”
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham said:
“Plastic waste, much of it single use, is not only wasteful but generates litter that is hugely damaging for our oceans, rivers and ecosystems. By acting now to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic and moves towards more sustainable, environmentally friendly alternatives, we can turn the tide. This, of course, is not only the responsibility of government and individuals but manufacturers and businesses too.
“That is why I very much welcome this investment by Tennent Caledonian and their continued efforts as part of the UK Plastics Pact. By taking action which supports the environment, such as switching from single use plastics and taking steps to becoming carbon neutral, businesses can help build a more circular economy.”
Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive Officer at Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:
“Across the world, corporates, communities and consumers are clear on the need for urgent climate action. In Scotland, iconic brands like Tennent’s are transforming their business models to grasp this climate of opportunity and show bold leadership towards one planet prosperity.
“In addition to a series of sustainability investments at Wellpark Brewery, as Scotland’s Environment Protection Agency, we warmly welcome this latest boost to circularity as the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)”
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland said:
“The time for responsible consumption of our Earth’s natural resources is now. Currently, a lot of energy goes into making products only for them to be thrown out after just one use. This not only drives up emissions but also affects other environmental factors, such as water scarcity and land use.
“With COP26 coming up later this year, Scottish businesses, like Tennent’s, can be champions for a greener, fairer economy by improving the circularity of their products. If materials can’t be removed, brands can make sure their customers can reuse or, as a last resort, recycle their products locally.”