In 1959, Coors revolutionized the beverage industry with the introduction of the recyclable two-piece aluminium can to replace the tin cans used at the time. At MillerCoors, we still see our packaging as an opportunity to deliver great beer with less environmental impact. We work with our suppliers to develop new ways to lighten materials and eliminate unnecessary packaging in our beverage containers, in our operations, at retail and throughout our supply chain.
Reducing Packaging in 2011
Our 2015 goal is to reduce the overall annual weight of all of our packaging throughout the supply chain by 2 percent, or 68 million pounds in packaging materials. By the end of 2011, we reduced the weight of our packaging materials by 0.66 percent, or 17.2 million pounds. That is equal to the weight of more than 1 million full kegs of beer.
Innovative Solutions to Reduce Paperboard
In 2011, we reduced our paperboard and corrugated board use by approximately 1.6 million pounds through the following new initiatives:
We reduced our 2011 paperboard usage by more than 1 million pounds by standardizing our six-pack bottle paperboard containers to a single design.
In October 2011 at our Irwindale Brewery, we switched from full cartons to trays for the manufacture and distribution of our 24-ounce-can 12-packs. In just three months, we saved nearly 560,000 pounds of corrugated paper.
We use paperboard trays to manufacture and distribute our aluminum pints. In November 2011, we lowered the height of the trays by one-half inch and saved an estimated 31,000 pounds of paperboard in just two months.
Also in 2011, our engineers tested new lighter paperboard for our 12-pack bottle containers. We fully implemented the new containers in February 2012, and will reduce our annual paperboard use by an estimated 4.2 million pounds.
Looking to a Lighter Future
When we redesigned our Blue Moon bottles to use less glass in 2009, we reduced our packaging by 4.8 million pounds annually. Building on that success, in 2011, we began to test plastic bottles to replace the glass bottles currently used for our 32- and 40-ounce beverage containers. Converting to plastic would save 174 million pounds of packaging each year and result in 5,000 fewer delivery truck trips annually. In addition, using the plastic bottle would increase safety for our employees, distributors, retailers and consumers.
Reusable Plastic in Our Distribution
Historically, we used lumber, plywood and corrugated cardboard to package and protect our products during truck and rail transportation from our breweries to our retailers. By working with our distributors to replace these disposable materials with reusable plastic, we save more than 41,000 trees and keep an estimated 17,000 tons of material out of landfills each year.