Corona: We’re the first global beverage to achieve net zero plastic footprint

This means the brand recovers more plastic from the environment than it releases into the world.

Bottles of Corona beer displayed at a supermarket in San Rafael, California. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Corona beer, a product of Anheuser-Busch InBev, on Tuesday said it had become the first global beverage brand to achieve a net zero plastic footprint. This means the brand recovers more plastic from the environment than it releases into the world.

After this incredible global achievement AB-InBev’s South African Breweries (SAB) said they are doing their part to keep up the momentum by embracing the circular economy - where raw materials, components and products lose their value as little as possible through recycling and environmentally-friendly and reusable product designs.

"Responsibility for our product goes far beyond the last sip. We're constantly looking for ways to increase the recycled materials in our packaging, to increase recycling rates around the world through the recovery and reuse of materials, to reduce the amount of material we use in our packaging, and to educate consumers on the importance of recycling," said Sphe Vundla, corporate brand director at SAB.

"As a brand born at the beach and deeply connected with nature, Corona has a responsibility to do all it can to be an ally to our environment and our oceans," said Thomas Lawrence, Corona Africa marketing manager.

"Becoming the first global beverage brand with a net zero plastic footprint is the latest in Corona’s broader ambition to help protect the world’s oceans and beaches from plastic pollution," Thomas said.

Beyond net zero packaging, Vundla said, "Our efforts need to span the entire value chain to ensure that every touchpoint is geared towards a greener and more sustainable future."

From reusable packaging to renewable energy, SAB is committed to energy management through one of its most popular brands, Castle Lite. "Through Castle Lite, we were able to isolate a test case for switching to brewing using only renewable energy. This not only helps us ease the already strained national grid, but reduces our carbon dioxide emissions impact at the same time," says Vundla.

Water is another material essential to the manufacturing of beer and SAB is developing a commercial 2,000m2 drip irrigation system that will help a local business sustainably grow spinach in raised beds using wastewater generated in the brewing process.

"The philosophy of reuse is one that is no benefit communities around our operations. Our waste water is being turned into crops, which is fuelling small businesses in our communities. This is the power of circular and sustainable thinking," says Vundla.