Over half of our beer is packaged in returnable bottles and kegs, which have a significantly lower carbon and waste impact than single-use packaging types. In South Africa, more than 80% of SAB (Pty) Ltd's beers are packaged in returnable bottles while in Colombia, Bavaria's super-returnable bottles are used, on average, 44 times.
This year 52% of our beer was sold in returnable packaging.
Reducing our packaging
While ensuring that our bottles are strong enough to withstand the rigours of distribution, we also seek to reduce their weight where appropriate. By using less packaging, we reduce the carbon emissions associated with both the production and the transportation of our products.
MillerCoors has eliminated unnecessary materials by reducing the paperboard, corrugated board and glass in its product packaging. These initiatives eliminated over 3 million kg of packaging in 2012, equivalent to the weight of nearly 43,000 full kegs of beer.
Where the infrastructure does not exist to support returnable packaging, we work with suppliers to reduce the weight and environmental impact of one-way packaging. This year, for example, Royal Grolsch changed its iconic swing-top bottle for a lighter version for all of its returnable bottles, saving over 100 tonnes of steel a year.
We also encourage our consumers to recycle, and work with retailers and municipalities to ensure that recycling facilities are available.
In Poland, Kompania Piwowarska has teamed up with a national supermarket chain to promote the recycling of aluminium cans. During a pilot of the programme over a weekend, over 300 kg of cans were collected across 15 outlets in major cities. The programme was run in partnership with EKO-PUNKT, a local waste recovery NGO.
In Zimbabwe, Delta Corporation joined forces with the municipality, a local NGO and a local entrepreneur to introduce a scheme whereby people in the Victoria Falls region were paid for collecting of 80 tonnes of cans, 60 tonnes of glass and five tonnes of PET which could then be processed and sold.
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