A successful pilot project has pioneered the lowest carbon footprint glass bottles ever produced for a Scotch whisky brand.
The collaboration between Diageo and glass manufacturer Encirc and industry research and technology body Glass Futures, used waste-based biofuel-powered furnaces to reduce the carbon footprint of the bottle-making process by up to 90%.
For the purposes of the trial, Diageo used its Black & White Scotch whisky brand – a popular and growing whisky in key global export markets.
The trial produced 173,000 Black & White bottles, also using 100% recycled glass, making the batch the most environmentally-friendly ever produced for a Scotch whisky brand.
Further work now needs to be done to develop and scale the trial for future production, Diageo said, but it represents a significant step forward in the company’s drive to transform the sustainability of our grain-to-glass supply chain.
Diageo has agreed a 10-year partnership to accelerate collaboration and innovation in the glass industry.
“This trial is just a first step in the journey to decarbonise this aspect of our supply chain and we still have a long way to go, but we are delighted with the results of the collaboration and the platform it creates for future innovation,” said John Aird, Senior Packaging Technologist at Diageo.
“We see Glass Futures as a great opportunity to develop new technology and to help deliver net zero glass manufacturing and we are delighted to support them in that mission.”
Adrian Curry, Managing Director at Encirc, said: “This is a truly momentous occasion for glass. We have set the standard globally with this trial and now the glass industry needs to work towards realising what we’ve proved is possible.
“We now know that glass can be the most sustainable of all packaging types and must all work together to ensure that happens.”
The project is part of the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme, within which Glass Futures is leading a £7.1 million initiative to explore the most effective routes to switching glass manufacturing to low carbon fuels.