The Group is committed to utilising packaging which continues to reduce the environmental impact and ecological footprint of our products. In FY2019, 28% of the total volume produced by C&C was in 100% returnable & reusable packaging formats, those being returnable steel kegs, returnable glass bottles & returnable water cooler drums.
Additionally, the Clonmel site has the technology to produce PET bottles directly onto reusable trays which are transported directly to the retailers shop-floors. This negates the requirement for any secondary packaging and preventing this unnecessary packaging waste being placed on the environment.
In FY2019, 70% of the “one-trip” products manufactured by the Group was in aluminium cans format, a format which achieved 72% recycling rates in the UK in 2018. 13% of that one-trip volume is in non-returnable glass format, of which recycling rates were 70% in 2018.
Plastic pollution is a growing concern globally and we recognise that our commitment to sustainable packaging must be built on a move away from non-biodegradable plastic. As a first step, the Group is replacing plastic rings and plastic shrink packaging with cardboard or alternative biodegradable solutions. The Group is actively working with a number of suppliers to investigate alternative packaging technologies with the target of being single-use plastic free by the end of calendar 2021 and a further ambition to be completely plastic free by 2025. We are well on the way to achieving this objective, which will require significant investment in new packaging technology and innovative product design, which C&C management are committed to delivering.
The Group is a producer of PET drinks products at the Clonmel manufacturing site. In FY2019, we partnered with our PET supplier to introduce a lighter PET bottle and in FY2020, we will be introducing a 25% recycled plastic material into the PET bottles used for both ciders, soft drinks and bottles water. As more recycled material becomes available, we will continue to increase the portion of recycled material in our products.
In FY2019, the Group worked with our can supplier, Crown, to reduce the quantity of aluminium used in cans whilst maintaining overall can integrity. This has resulted in a 3.4% reduction in annual aluminium usage, equating to 184,000 tonnes. In addition to the reduction in use of aluminium, it also reduces the ‘embedded energy’ in our products whilst also reducing the product miles through greater efficiency for transportation.