Guinness is one of the latest companies joining the worldwide effort to eliminate single-use plastics. Guinness’s parent company, Diageo, formerly used plastic rings and shrink wrap packaging for its products, which also include Smithwick’s and Harp.
Diageo plans to replace their plastic packaging materials with 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard. The first sustainable beer packs will hit shelves in Ireland in August 2019, with plans to implement them throughout the rest of Great Britain and other international markets by 2020. By 2025, Diageo’s goal is to only use plastic that is widely recyclable.
Diageo estimates that the amount of plastic they’re eliminating from their packaging is equivalent to 40 million 50cl plastic bottles. That’s enough plastic bottles to stretch from London to Beijing! The company is investing $21 million in this project in an effort to help ease the ever-growing plastic epidemic throughout the world. Currently, there’s so much plastic floating in the ocean that it could make up an eighth continent and experts predict that ocean plastic waste will triple by 2050.
Plastic rings, for example, are just one in an overwhelming number of plastics floating in the ocean today. They’ve been used on multipacks of canned drinks for many years but have also proven harmful to wildlife, while contributing to plastic pollution.
Diageo isn’t the only company making a conscious effort to eliminate single-use plastics. Others like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Disney are limiting the use of plastic straws, while cities like Seattle have banned them entirely. Other companies such as Adidas and IKEA have made similar pledges to phase out single-use plastic products within the coming years as well. Hopefully, more international companies will continue to follow suit. Though it’s just one tiny step towards saving the planet, it’s a step in the right direction nonetheless.