60 U.K. Brands Make Beer Lighter

60 U.K. Brands Make Beer Lighter

Within the last year, more than 60 beer and cider brands in the U.K. converted to lighter bottles, eliminating the use of over 32,000 tonnes of glass.

With slight changes to its 600 ml bottle's height and diameter, Cobra Beer cut glass use by 700 tonnes a year and reduced bottle weight by 20 percent. Scottish & Newcastle made its 550 ml bottle 27 percent lighter, saving 4,000 tonnes of glass a year. Other altered brands include Bud Ice, Miller Genuine Draft and Carlsberg lagers.

The companies changed their bottles as part of the WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Program) GlassRite Beer, Cider and Spirits project.

Two barriers WRAP said it faced were concerns that lighter bottles and thinner glass would make bottles weaker and let in more harmful light. The group's studies showed that the color of bottles, not thickness, mattered more in keeping out light harmful to the drinks inside. And in making bottles thinner, companies reconfigured bottle shapes, distributing glass more evenly and making the bottles even stronger.

WRAP also runs a project for lightweighting wine bottles and increasing bulk importation of wine. After its initial phase focused within the U.K., the project is expanding and seeking partners from the worldwide wine supply chin, particularly in Australia, the United States and Europe.

Making products like bottles lighter has a range of impacts throughout supply chains: requiring less energy to produce, creating fewer emissions, fitting more products within shipments and making shipments lighter.