The idea of bottling things like Johnnie Walker whiskies and Smirnoff vodkas in plastic bottles seems hard to fathom for any true fan. However, that's what the future for both Diageo-owned brands as the firm renews its sustainable plastic packaging pledge.
This week, the UK-based distilling giant just renewed its commitment to sustainable packaging with the release of a sustainable plastics guideline that's meant to supplement its global Diageo Sustainable Packaging Commitments document.
In the report, the group details its approach towards creating a sustainable, closed-loop system that aims for 100% recyclable or compostable packaging by the year 2020. The biggest challenge for Diageo and its brands is the fact that glass makes up more than 90% of its packaging.
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However, the firm states that it has already increased the use of alternative materials and formats as part of this agenda. Serving as alternatives to glass are polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP). Both are commonly used in various small formats such as PET bottles, plastic closures, Tetra Pak cartons and multilayer pouches.
"We are committed to working with waste experts, consumer goods companies, governments and other stakeholders to find transformative recycling solutions," said David Cutter, Diageo's president of global supply and procurement.
He further adds that Diageo is also seeking more sustainable alternatives for its source of PET, including plant-based PET made using bio-based raw materials. By increasing the use of post-consumer recycled plastic materials in PET and other plastic formats, Diageo aims to recycle 45% of content in all packaging by 2020.
While it will take a few years, there are no doubts that glass bottles will be phased out at some point and replaced with these eco-friendly and recyclable plastics instead.