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A pledge by Heineken's UK unit to reduce plastic waste is the start of a sustainability push that will expand to cover the world, the Dutch brewer has told just-drinks.

Heineken UK intends to eliminate plastic rings by 2021

Heineken UK intends to eliminate plastic rings by 2021

A spokesperson for the group said today that a UK project announced yesterday to eliminate plastic multipack rings "is spearheading an ambitious approach" by Heineken in Europe and globally. Asked if multipack rings will be eliminated in markets beyond the UK, the spokesperson said global plans will be "announced in due course".

Yesterday, Heineken UK committed to remove plastic from all multipack cans by 2021 with the introduction of cardboard toppers. The GBP22m (US$28m) programme will see investment at the company's Manchester, Tadcaster and Hereford breweries and cideries.

Heineken UK's marketing director, Cindy Tervoort, said: "The effect single-use plastic is having on our planet can't be ignored ... . Our recyclable and compostable topper innovation [is] a significant milestone in our journey to eliminate all single-use plastic."

Heineken is not the first beverage company to use the UK as a testing ground for plastic waste initiatives. The Coca-Cola Co's 'World Without Waste' programme was first launched in the UK through a pledge to double the recycled plastic content in all of its bottles to 50% by 2020. That pledge and others were later rolled out to Coca-Cola's global distribution network.

"In the future, all of our products should be in paper packaging" - Louise Werner, director of future packaging at Pernod Ricard's The Absolut Co


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