Drink manufacturers need to take action!

In September 2018, global drinks manufacturer Carlsberg announced that it would no longer be using plastic yokes as retail packaging for its Carlsberg Export beer. Why has it taken so long to make a change?

Used for over 50 years by the drinks industry, it’s now time for manufacturers to phase them out. We can’t state how many are produced within a year but it’s apparent the number is immense. In addition, we don’t have to look very far to see how these seemingly small and insignificant rings have had dramatic consequences on wildlife.

What’s the alternative?

Carlsberg’s multipacks now use recyclable glue

Carlsberg claims that removing the rings and replacing with recyclable glue will reduce its plastic use by 76%. It also makes the entire packaging 100% recyclable. Initially just starting with Carlsberg Export, the group states that this change will be rolled out across the entire drinks portfolio, including Tuborg and San Miguel.

The change, according to Carlsberg will reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1,200 tonnes a year. That’s the equivalent of 60m plastic bags!

Is there a long term packaging solution?

Using recyclable glue is a solution to reducing waste packaging and plastic use, but what are the other alternatives?

Scottish biotech firm CuanTec says it could be just months away from launching a biodegradable alternative.

CuanTec develops new processes and materials from marine and aquaculture waste. Scientists at the company have developed a way to make a fully compostable food wrap from langoustine shells, in a process that relies on substances extracted from the discarded shellfish remains. CuanTec hope this new “stronger and more robust” material could see the drinks industry adopting it as a sustainable alternative to conventional yokes later this year.