In March 2022, Coors Light announced that they will be replacing the plastic rings on all of its six-packs for the more environmentally friendly and fully recyclable cardboard wrap carriers. The effort will begin later this year; by 2025, the company’s roughly 30 brands it distributes in North America will use cardboard packaging.
Molson Coors announced the removal of plastic rings, noting that Coors Light is the biggest beer brand in North America to do so. To make the switch, the company is investing $85 million in new machinery at its factories. Coors predicts that this effort will eliminate 1.7 million pounds of plastic annually.
Molson and Coors’ announcement joins other major brands in the US and worldwide to remove plastic packaging. For example, Guinness, owned by Diageo, announced its switch in 2019. In 2020, Budweiser Brewing in the United Kingdom announced similar changes; however, its US products still use plastic rings.
There is an estimated 75 to 199 million tonnes of plastic currently found in our oceans, as of 2022. And, of the estimated seven billion tonnes of plastic waste generated globally so far, less than 10 percent has been recycled. As a result, companies like Molson Coors have begun making major sustainability changes to lessen the plastic damage.
Likewise, many countries have taken pledges and steps on plastic limits and bans. In March of 2022, the nations in the UN even signed a landmark resolution to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to complete a draft legally binding agreement on plastic pollution by the end of 2024. The agreement will address how countries must design reusable and recyclable products and materials, drastically reduce single-use plastic production, and more.