Sustainable bottle challenge

Problem statement: Glass bottles are very much part of the heritage of many Diageo brands and have been in use for more than 150 years. We want to secure the future of our brands and associated assets, including glass bottles. Glass bottles are energy intensive to create, although can be infinitely recycled and produced by using high levels of recycled glass cullet – up to 80% subject to availability and new bottle colour or finish requirements. However, the current glass bottle designs and supply chains mean that there are often challenges in ensuring glass bottles are recycled, which then limits the consistent quality and supply of cullet. In addition the rise of ecommerce and changing supply chains overall, have stretched the limitations of existing glass design as a packaging material.

Challenge: To improve the overall sustainability of our glass bottles, reduce associated waste and promote increased reuse/recycling as part of our sustainability goals of reducing energy, water, waste and increasing reuse/recycling.  We are searching for solutions across the entire glass bottle value chain (excluding furnaces) from better raw materials, labelling, design for shipping, filling, handling and optimising end-of-life processing.

Potential solutions could include but are not limited to:

  • Radical light weighting and/or enhanced mechanical strength
  • Breakthroughs in forming technology in the context of container glass
  • Altering glass bottle content such as raw materials, additives, alternative coatings to minimise the materials footprint overall
  • Optimising glass bottle attributes such as shape, colour, decoration (labelling and/or sleeves) to significantly improve recycling recovery rates
  • Making labels and other non glass components 100% recyclable or compostable
  • Design for durability, reuse, ecommerce, improved packaging and logistics, while still delivering strong aesthetics
  • Premium (cosmetic) quality and clarity levels from improved sustainability manufacturing methods eg. high cullet content
  • Alternative filling processes to enable most sustainable glass container design and overall footprint
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