Diageo to Make Zero Carbon Glass Bottles For Sustainable Future
The spirits brand behind Captain Morgan rum, Diageo, partners with glass manufacturer Encirc to create the first net-zero glass bottles at scale.
Diageo is aiming to produce up to 200 million net-zero bottles for its Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum, Gordon’s and Tanqueray gin brands by 2030.
This is one step in Diageo’s plans to reduce carbon emissions across its supply chain by 2030 as part of its Society 2030: Spirit of Progress plan. This goes along with the UK government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050, according to Diageo. Low-carbon alternative energy sources are an essential part of the solution for net zero.
The furnace will be an ultra-low carbon, hydrogen-powered glass furnace located at Encirc’s Elton plant in Cheshire, UK. The company plans to see glass production begin in 2027.
Ewan Andrew, president of global supply and procurement and chief sustainability officer at Diageo, said: “We are really excited to be a part of this world leading announcement, which forms part of our commitment to halve our Scope 3 carbon emissions by 2030.
“All renewable energy options are important to us and we’d like to see government and industry further accelerating the direct supply of green energy as a mainstream option. Ultimately, we look forward to a world where people can enjoy their favorite drinks from zero-carbon glass bottles.”
Encirc and its glass industry partner Glass Futures trialed one of the furnaces at a Northern Ireland-based plant with sustainable biofuels last year. This included creating bottles for brands such as Diageo’s Black & White whisky.
The glass used for these bottles was 100% recycled to create the ‘most sustainable bottles ever produced.” The bottles had a carbon footprint that was up to 90% lower than a standard glass bottle.
Adrian Curry, managing director of Encirc, said: “This will be a major step in our goal of producing net zero glass by 2030. With support from the government and key partners, Encirc and Diageo we believe it will be possible to have this first of its kind furnace up and running at the beginning of 2027.
“Glass is an incredible material being infinitely recyclable and chemically inert. It has been around since 3,500 BC and has never been produced in this way. This is about protecting glass as a material by addressing the carbon challenge.
“The work we and glass futures undertake will be shared with the UK glass industry to ensure glass remains as the packing of choice for many thousands more years.”
The hydrogen used to power the future furnace will come from Vertex Hydrogen, a partner of the UK government-backed leading industrial decarbonization project, Hynet North West cluster.
Joe Seifert, CEO of Vertex Hydrogen, said “We are delighted to be supporting Encirc and Diageo with low carbon hydrogen as the UK continues to lead the world to deliver tangible decarbonization at pace and scale.”
By 2030, the hydrogen-powered furnace will aim to produce up to 200 million bottles.
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