Spirits giant Diageo recently collaborated with glass manufacturer Encirc in a pilot project to create what’s said to be the lowest carbon footprint glass bottles ever produced for a Scotch whisky brand. Diageo and Encirc worked alongside industry research and technology body Glass Futures to create waste-based biofuel-powered furnaces to reduce the carbon footprint of the bottle-making process by 90%.
Diageo used its Black & White Scotch whisky brand to test out the innovative technology. It produced 173,000 Black & White bottles using 100% recycled glass, making it the most environmentally friendly batch of Scotch whiskey ever made, according to the company.
In order to use the technology for mass production, more work is needed. This marks, however, a significant step forward in what’s described as Diageo’s commitment to sustainability for its grain to glass supply chain. It supported Glass Futures from the beginning, and following the success of the recent trial, has signed on a 10-year partnership to expedited the collaboration and innovation in the glass industry.
“We are committed to creating a sustainable future for our business and that includes looking for innovative new ways to make our bottles and packaging that reduces the carbon footprint of our products,” John Aird, Senior Packaging Technologist at Diageo said in a prepared statement.
Aird said this trial is the first step in the company’s commitment to sustainable practices.
“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,” Aird said.
Adrian Curry, Managing Director at Encirc, said the glass industry needs to work towards becoming the predominant packaging type. The project is part of the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy and Innovation Programme.
“The trial is delivering fantastic results for the manufacturer, end user and consumer,” Aston Fuller, General Manager of Glass Futures said. “Glass is a fully recyclable and highly sustainable product, and through this trial with Encirc we are seeing the dawn of Net-Zero technologies with this full-scale trial of a new alternative low-carbon fuel.”
Hannah Kanik is a freelance writer from California. Two years ago, she found herself drinking Scottish whisky atop Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh and found her love for whisky and its storytelling side-effects.