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Scot starts petition to see Tennent's move away from plastic packaging

A person championing environmental causes has started a petition to challenge Scottish brewing giants Tennent's to move away from plastic packaging.

Published: July 29, 2019
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The petition entitled "Change Tennents packaging to cardboard to cut down on plastic waste" has been posted on the website and already has almost half of the 500 signatures it needs.

Posting under the name ScotlandGreenChanges, the person who launched the petition highlights the dangers single-use plastics pose to the environment before adding: "Tennents is Scotland's favorite drink, according to a study 540,625,000 litres of Tennents was sold in 2018, that is the equivalent to 1,228,693,181 cans or 122,869,318 10 x tin packs.

"Although not all of this will be plastic packaged, it allows us to imagine the amount of single-use plastic wrappers which must circulate each year, and considering that these could be replaced by recyclable cardboard containers (such as what brands such as Fosters use), then the reader may begin to see where my stance originates from."

The petition's creator then added that though they understand there are a "lot of financial repercussions" for these changes, they simply want the brand to recognize the issue and "take the initiative" to make them.

Posting in response to the petition Leanne Roarty wrote: "I love lager but I don't like the needless use of plastic in grouping my stash of cans together. Scotland and Tennants can do better."

While another person who signed, Laila Dunbar, added: "Scotland is proud to be on the forefront of eco friendly living, so why would the beer of Scotland not want to embody this?"

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland stated that the calls to reduce plastic usage were another example of the "growing public interest" in cutting plastic waste,  he said: "Too many products come in packaging that is either unnecessary, difficult to recycle, or both. What’s most important is that businesses try and do away with any packaging that isn’t needed before replacing one single-use material with another.

"After that, they should assess the environmental impacts before making a material choice and make sure that whatever packaging is required is easy to recycle.

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“Tennent’s is a huge brand in Scotland, so any efforts they make on increasing their sustainability will have a big impact.”

Responding to the petition, Kenny Gray, commercial managing director at Tennent's, said: “At Tennent’s, it’s important to us to operate as efficiently and sustainably as possible, and we know it’s important to our drinkers too.

"A large proportion of our products already come in non-plastic packing, while a small number of our Tennent’s canned packs use hi-cone plastic rings. We’re investing now to move to alternative packaging materials for those packs, with the target of being out of plastic, including plastic rings, by 2021.”

• You can see the full petition here

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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