Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is investing in packaging and water-reduction efforts at a site in the UK.

The £10m ($12.2m) project will see the business upgrade equipment at its Northampton Brewery to produce ‘snap-pack’ packaging – where cans are glued together to reduce plastic – as well as invest in water-reduction technology.

The upgraded canning line and other machinery will double the site’s snap-pack manufacturing capacity. The spending will reduce water usage by around 10%, equating to around 18m litres a year, CMBC said.

Snap-packs were co-developed by Carlsberg and packaging manufacturer KHS and are already used for products in the UK including Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, San Miguel, Birrificio Angelo Poretti and Brooklyn Pilsner.

Last year, the design was used for 65% of CMBC’s four- and six-can multipacks. In a statement yesterday (31 October) the brewer said it planned to move all its multipacks to the glued design by the end of 2024.

If successful, the move could reduce CMBC’s plastic usage by up to 76%, compared to previous multipacks, it said.

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Paul Davies, CMBC’s CEO, said: “We take our responsibility as a brewer very seriously and ensuring we reduce our impact on the planet is a hugely important part of this.

“This major investment of more than £10m in Northampton demonstrates our clear commitments to eliminating packaging waste, reducing water waste and improving efficiency at our breweries.”

Last year, Carlsberg Group drew up ESG commitments covering areas including water use, carbon emissions, packaging and low- and no-alcohol products.

The pledges built on an earlier set of targets announced in 2017. In September this year, the Tuborg brewer announced it had exceeded its target to cut “relative” carbon emissions. The absolute emissions across Carlsberg’s entire value chain, however, have remained more or less stable since 2015.

CMBC, formed out of a joint venture between Carlsberg UK and Marston’s, owns and operates a brewery and distribution network across the UK.

Last month, CMBC entered into a ten-year partnership with UK pub operator Stonegate Group to take over Stonegate’s UK distribution.

The “commercial and logistics partnership” covers all keg and cask deliveries to Stonegate’s pubs and will increase the presence of CMBC’s portfolio in Stonegate’s venues.

CMBC will expand its delivery fleet by 29 vehicles and said it expects to create roughly 100 jobs within its distribution and warehousing operations.

In September, CMBC sold its Wychwood Brewery, citing an “incredibly competitive” UK ale market and “turbulent economic outlook”. The disposal came just months after it announced it was looking for a buyer for its Ringwood Brewery in southern England. CMBC also plans to close its logistics operations at Ringwood, relocating deliveries to nearby depots at Tiverton, Farnborough and Cardiff.