UK – Multinational beverage and spirits company, Diageo, has partnered with glass bottle manufacturer Encirc to start production of world’s first net zero glass bottles at scale by 2030.
As part of their broad agreement, Encirc will build new furnaces at its Elton plant in Cheshire that will utilize green electricity and low-carbon hydrogen that will help reduce emissions from glass bottle manufacturing by 90%.
The hydrogen will be supplied by Vertex Hydrogen, a partner of the government-backed HyNet North West cluster, and when combined with carbon capture technology could deliver net-zero glass bottles by 2030.
The furnaces are expected to be fully operational by 2027 and will produce up to 200 million Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Gordon’s, and Tanqueray bottles annually by 2030.
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.”
The move by Diageo is part of its The Society 2030: Spirit of Progress 10-year plan to reduce carbon emissions across its supply chain by 2030.
The owner of Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, and Guinness also aims to produce up to 200 million net-zero bottles for its Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum, Gordon’s gin, and Tanqueray gin brands, by the same time frame.
The two companies together with Encirc’s partner Glass Futures have previously worked on a process that used waste-based biofuel-powered furnaces to reduce the carbon footprint of the bottle-making process by up to 90%. In total, 173,000 bottles were made using 100% recycled glass during a trial period.
Ewan Andrew, president, of global supply and procurement and chief sustainability officer at Diageo, said: “We are 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.”
This partnership is among many collaborations Encirc has entered with other beverage giants to help reduce emissions.
Last year, the company worked with Molson Coors, the world’s second-largest spirits company by market share, to introduce low-carbon bottles across the UK, which are manufactured using up to 100% recycled or waste glass – called cullet.
The process had previously used 75% recycled or waste content. Production is also powered by renewable energy and sustainable biofuels, which has helped deliver a reduced carbon footprint for each bottle of up to 90%.
The bottle manufacturer has also worked with the likes of Carlsberg to reduce the carbon impact of their bottles.