The world’s largest brewer says this represents the lightest beer bottle in the world. If applied across all its glass bottle beer brands in Europe for a year – which include Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, Beck’s and Leffe - this would be the equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions as taking 62,000 cars off the road each year.
Packaging makes up, on average, 50% of a beer's carbon footprint: making it a key area to address.
The new beer bottle was developed by AB InBev’s Global Innovation and Technology R&D Centre, GITEC in Leuven, Belgium.
Frederik De Graaf, Global Director, Packaging Technology Development at AB InBev, said: “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.”
Creating a bottle that was still strong enough to be fit for purpose was one of the biggest challenges for the team, he continued. “When reducing the weight of the bottle, we were faced with strength challenges – beer is, of course, 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. Ultimately, a combination of state of the art equipment, skilled operators and process improvements helped us to achieve this innovation.”
AB InBev is now exploring how to roll out the new bottle: which would initially be in Europe in one way bottles. The next challenge will be for the GITEC team to develop technologies suitable for returnable bottles, which need to survive many cycles.