Lion to shed plastic use by half

September 2, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Lion has announced plans to dramatically reduce the two largest sources of plastic in its packaging – plastic shrink-wrap and plastic labels on beer bottles – by the end of 2023.

The combined effect of the two initiatives will cut Lion’s plastic use in the market by more than half and means that more than 630 tonnes of plastic per year will be eliminated from circulation – keeping it out of landfill and away from our oceans. 

Working with their packaging suppliers the company intends to have have confirmed and implemented alternatives to shrink-wrap for all product lines by the year’s end of 2023.

Head of Sustainability, Libby Davidson said that Lion’s first step would be to remove plastic shrink-wrap from its beer packaging. Plastic shrink-wrap currently found on six packs of cans and bottles for iconic brands such as XXXX, Tooheys, and James Boag’s will be eliminated completely by the end of 2023.

“There is no doubt this is an aggressive strategy. We have challenged ourselves and taken a number of steps further than many other players in our industry by putting forward a detailed and transparent commitment with clear objectives and timeframe,” Davidson said.

“Lion has been a pioneer in sustainable packaging. We were the first major Australian brewer to stop using plastic rings in six-packs, and we’re already closing in on a goal of 100 per cent recyclable plastic packaging and 50 per cent recycled content. But we can go further, and we’ve identified an opportunity here to address two significant sources of plastic in our supply chain.”

From the end of the year, six-packs of cans will no longer be wrapped in plastic with changes for packaging of stubbies and long necks to follow.

Ms Davidson said that the decision reflected Lion’s commitment to do the right thing for the long-term and create a positive environmental legacy.

“As Australia’s first large-scale carbon-neutral brewer, Lion is a leader in sustainability within Australian industry and the FMCG sector.

“We’ve been conscious of the environmental impact of our packaging for a long time and have been taking deliberate steps to reduce this impact. This is a significant acceleration in a journey we have been on since 2010 when we were the first brewer to begin removing the notoriously damaging plastic rings from our products.”

Lion recently partnered with REDcycle to promote soft plastic recycling, and while the transition is underway consumers can continue to recycle shrink-wrap packaging from Lion products through REDcycle at major supermarkets right across Australia.

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