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Can Makers announce study by Incept to understand the impact of packaging choices

Findings show that using metal packaging in the beer market offers significant cost and CO2 reductions

Can Makers, the body representing the UK manufacturers of beer and carbonated soft drinks cans, has today announced the results of a study conducted by Incept* to understand the impact of packaging choices on both cost and CO2 emissions in the take home beer supply chain. The study, which found that tangible cost and CO2 savings can be made when transporting beer multipacks through the supply chain compared to equivalent packs of glass bottles, comes at a time when fillers, retailers and consumers alike seek to address the cost and environmental impact of their packaging choices.

The year-long research, carried out with a UK top five Multiple Retailer on a model reflecting their end-to-end supply chain, found the following cost and CO2 benefits became evident:

Product Savings** Cost CO2

4 pack 440ml cans vs glass 6 x 330ml 4.9 pence 10.0 grammes

4 pack 440ml cans vs glass 6 x 275ml 5.6 pence 6.4 grammes

15 x 440ml cans vs glass 18×275 ml 7.16 pence 14 grammes

Commenting on the research findings, Nick Gazzard, principal of Incept and leader of the CILT Sustainable Transport Strategy Group, said: "The potential CO2 and cost reductions identified in the study are significant at an industry level, can be achieved with standard can packaging and offer additional future opportunities as other initiatives such as lightweighting begin to offer diminishing returns."

"The study clearly reveals that tangible cost and CO2 savings can be achieved when transporting beer multipacks through the supply chain, compared to equivalent packs of glass bottles."

Potential market benefits of moving a percentage of take home beer packs from glass bottles to cans

Potential savings Total cost savings (1) Tonnes of CO2

Total potential 50% volume switch £17,612,553 3,032

Total potential 10% volume switch £3,522,511 606

Equivalent cars removed at 50% volume switch 815

Equivalent cars removed at 10% volume switch 163

Average car emissions for 12,000 miles = 3.72 tonnes per annum (2)

(1) Cost savings based on whole supply chain; transport savings based on CO2

(2) Based on an average of small and large car emitting 20.5 and 41.4 Kg’s per 100 miles Ex Act on CO2 website

Vince Major, chairman at Can Makers, added: "Current economic conditions and ongoing environmental concerns over transport emissions are driving a focus on reducing both costs and CO2 in the supply chain. The advantages we’ve seen come out from this research are due to the considerable weight and cube efficiency of drinks cans compared with taller glass bottles."

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