Labatt reducing plastic packaging at its Montreal and London, Ont. breweries
As part of a larger sustainability investment, the brewer is introducing its KeelClip packaging system at these sites, which replaces plastic rings, tops and shrink film with recyclable fibre paperboard.
Labatt Breweries of Canada is investing $461.5 million at its seven Canadian breweries, including new programs to reduce plastic packaging at its sites in Montreal and London, Ont.
In a Nov. 15 news release, Labatt officials said that a “major part” of the investment is the introduction of the KeelClip packaging system – a minimal material fastener solution made of recyclable fibre paperboard – at the Montreal and London breweries. “The high-tech, automated system is the first of its kind in North America and will replace the use of plastic rings, tops and shrink film, reducing [our] overall single-use plastic usage in early 2022 by nearly 152,000 kg,” the release said. “This weight is equivalent to removing 117 mid-sized cars from the landfill.”
Labatt aims to reduce 242,000 kg of single-use plastic by 2024.
According to Labatt, $145 million will be invested in Ontario with $52.6 million going directly into the London brewery for major initiatives such as KeelClip, and a new state-of-the art can line that increases packaging flexibility and supports product innovation; and $110 million will be invested in Quebec, with $43.7 million going directly into the Montreal brewery for significant projects like KeelClip and the installation of a new fermentation tank to increase brewing capacity.
“The introduction of KeelClip at our London and Montreal breweries will revolutionize the way we package our products from both an environmental and merchandising standpoint,” said Bryan Derr, vice president of supply, Labatt Breweries of Canada. “It offers unique branding and marketing benefits.”
Labatt’s breweries in Vancouver, Creston, B.C., Edmonton, Halifax, and St. John’s, Nfld. will also benefit from the capital investment, company officials said. “This will include technology and equipment upgrades that will drive production and environmental efficiencies and prepare the breweries for future growth,” the release said. “Non-brewery investments will benefit provincial operations such as technology and warehousing enhancements, and commercial initiatives.”