AB InBev has developed the world’s lightest longneck beer bottle for commercial production, reducing the weight from 180 to 150 grams.
Developed at the brewer’s Global Innovation and Technology R&D Centre, GITEC in Leuven, Belgium. The beer giant said if used on a year’s worth of glass production for AB InBev brands in Europe, it would be the equal reduction in CO2 emissions as taking 62,000 cars off the road.
The owner of brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, Beck’s, and Leffe said with packaging making up, on average, 50% of its product carbon product footprint. Such innovations are an important part of AB InBev’s Sustainability Goals, which include a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions across its value chain by 2025.
Frederik De Graaf, global director, packaging technology development at AB InBev, said: “Light weighting our bottles has been a priority for many years at AB InBev. This new, lighter bottle is an important environmental and technological breakthrough, allowing us to decrease the carbon footprint of glass bottles.
“This success is the fruit of intensive collaboration with our external glass partners, having shared knowledge and worked together on new glass coatings, new glass mold coatings, and state-of-the-art converting to strengthen the glass.”
The project was not without its challenges, as De Graaf said when reducing the weight of the bottle, AB InBev faced ‘strength challenges’, with beer being a carbonated drink and inside pressure can build up due to the gas expanding under certain heat conditions.
“We also needed to be mindful of the speed of our filling lines inducing high impact forces on the bottles. A combination of state-of-the-art equipment, skilled operators, and process improvements helped us to achieve this innovation.”