The Group has set an ambitious target to be out of single-use plastics by 2022, reducing the environmental impact and ecological footprint of our products. We are the only brewer who is a member of the UK plastics pact, which has additional targets on plastic packaging, waste and recyclates. The Group is committed to utilising sustainable packaging and in FY2020, more than 30% of the total volume produced by C&C was in 100% returnable and reusable packaging formats.
The change to be out of plastics requires significant capital investment, a combined €11.5 million in the Wellpark and Clonmel production sites. The new primary packaging material will be cardboard which is fully and easily recyclable. The investment is focused on the canning operations at both of these sites, with significant equipment and infrastructure changes already planned for FY2021. The investment also recognises the future market changes e.g. the Deposit Return Scheme introduction.
In FY2020, we entered a can light weight programme, further optimising the material used. We have completed more than 50% of the planned activity to date, and will complete the programme this year, removing 330 tonnes of aluminium from the supply chain.
As an interim measure whilst moving out of plastic, we have introduced a hi-cone plastic ring, which has a 50% recycled content.In 2019, we completed a change to the design of the preforms used in PET production. This reduced the amount of plastic used by more than 10%. Simultaneously we reviewed the raw materials used, to further improve the recyclability of the bottles. The technology to produce PET bottles directly onto reusable trays is used for 37% of the PET volume produced.