March 2, 2022 -- Later this year, Coors Light will eliminate plastic rings from its six-pack beer products and move toward recyclable cardboard-wrap carriers.
By 2025, all the company’s roughly 30 brands produced in North America will use the cardboard packaging. That includes major labels such as Blue Moon and Miller Lite, according to an announcement from Molson Coors.
“Our business, and Coors in particular, has a long history of using packaging innovation to protect our environment, and today we are building on that rich legacy,” Gavin Hattersley, CEO of Molson Coors, said in a statement.
“Just as Coors led the way by pioneering the recyclable aluminum can, Coors Light will lead the way by moving out of single-use plastic rings in North America,” he said.
Plastic rings have been used for decades to link canned drinks, but they pose a risk to wildlife and lead to ocean pollution, according to CNN. Advocacy groups and consumers have called for companies to get rid of single-use plastics across several industries.
Hattersley told CNN that the shift away from plastic rings is “pretty important” to its customers, who have been seeking out more sustainable products. The company’s switch to cardboard carriers across its brands will end the use of 1.7 million pounds of plastic annually.
“Our consumers like the thought of products they consume being environmentally friendly,” he told CNN. “The amount of plastic recycled is very, very low.”
Molson Coors is beginning the phase-out with Coors Light as the largest brand in the portfolio. The move is part of the company’s $85 million investment in upgrades to brewery machinery. The company has committed to making 100% of its packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
Cardboard packaging is already being used for Molson Coors brands in the U.K., and Hattersley told CNN the company has made “significant progress” in changing packages in Canada.
Molson Coors joins other brands that are making changes in packaging, CNN reported. Guinness, owned by Diageo, announced in 2019 that it would replace plastic with cardboard packaging. In 2020, Budweiser Brewing Group in the U.K. announced a similar change but still uses plastic rings in U.S. products.