Carlsberg Danmark’s Managing Director Søren Brinck finds that consumers have welcomed the brewery’s green initiatives, including the so-called Snap Pack.

Photo: Carlsberg
06-06-19 DI Business News

Carlsberg makes green tables out of recycled plastic kegs

Carlsberg has successfully replaced plastic with glue on the brewery’s multipacks and is now extending its green initiatives with recycled beer kegs and cups, says Søren Brinck, Managing Director at Carlsberg Danmark.

Carlsberg has worked hard to spread the word of the brewery group’s new plastic-reducing multipack. But the so-called Snap Pack is not a stand-alone idea. In reality, it is just the most obvious of a whole range of green initiatives launched by the Danish group.

The green initiatives are rooted in the Carlsberg Group’s global aim of zero carbon emissions and zero water waste by 2030, which has kicked the green transition into gear, explains Managing Director of Carlsberg Danmark A/S, Søren Brink.

Consumers have welcomed the Snap Pack, which was launched in the Danish market in January and is initially only available for the Carlsberg Pilsner.

“Sales in stores are 19 per cent higher in that category than last year, so it’s a good start. Also because consumers have to get used to the concept and learn to use it. But in time they will. After all, when the bottle cap was launched, people had to learn to use a bottle opener,” says Søren Brinck.

Snap Pack, which eliminates up to 76 per cent of plastic consumption in multipacks by gluing beer cans together rather than wrapping them in plastic, is perhaps the brewery’s most obvious green initiative, but in reality there are many more. All are anchored in the group’s sustainability programme. The programme has already been around for a few years, although this has not been apparent to consumers. There are good reasons for this.

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We’ve worked hard to minimise our water consumption, for example, and today it’s the lowest among the major breweries. Managing Director of Carlsberg Danmark A/S, Søren Brink

“We’ve worked hard to minimise our water consumption, for example, and today it’s the lowest among the major breweries. We’ve also reduced our energy consumption and are working on phasing out coal. That’s something we’re proud of,” he says and adds:

“The challenge has been showing this to our customers. These are behind-the-scenes initiatives that customers don’t directly see. Snap Pack is a more visible example of sustainability.”

Reusing cups made of recycled plastic

The brewery group’s focus on minimising plastic consumption is far more comprehensive than one might think. For example, the plastic that is used to wrap pallets is now sent to recycling. Another example is Carlsberg’s new beer kegs, where Carlsberg has decided to implement a deposit scheme to ensure that the kegs are returned and the material can be reused – thereby reducing the total environmental impact.

What’s more, guests at festivals around Denmark this summer, including Northside, Tinderbox, Grøn Koncert and Roskilde, will be met with a new system when they want to listen to concerts with the obligatory draught beer in hand.

“Here we’ll be using new recycled plastic cups for the first time. They’ll be collected, washed and reused. This requires a dishwasher the size of a lorry that can wash 9,000 cups per hour. This has only been possible thanks to the company’s cooperation with the festivals. The new system is therefore also very much to their credit,” he notes.

Indeed, cooperation is central to Carlsberg’s sustainability programme, because the brewery is highly reliant on partners for things like delivery and end sales.

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Tables made of recycled plastic kegs

A sustainable mindset helps streamline production and thereby minimise costs, while also attracting consumers.

“We believe that Danes value products and companies that strive to become more environmentally friendly – but no one can do everything from day one. The journey isn’t always linear,” says Søren Brinck.

A new initiative will be launched on 11 June at Copenhagen Airport, where Carlsberg will present its new tables made of recycled plastic from Carlsberg’s beer kegs in the new Aviator lounge.

“The tables are actually quite cool. The material almost looks like green marble, even though it’s made of recycled plastic. It’s a good example of how we can create new solutions that are valuable in terms of a product’s life cycle,” says Søren Brinck.

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Meet carlsberg

MEET SØREN BRINCK AT FOLKEMØDET FESTIVAL ON BORNHOLM

Managing Director of Carlsberg Danmark A/S Søren Brinck will be participating in DI’s event “The Plastic Paradox: From Creation to Waste” on Friday, 14 June at 12.15.  
See the Confederation of Danish Industry’s festival programme here: di.dk/folkemodet (in Danish)

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