From this month Powderkeg’s cans will sport new labels made from bio-plastic.
As part of their drive to become a more sustainable business, Powderkeg have switched all of their can labels to Forest Film, an alternative to fossil fuel-based plastic.
Developed in Northern Europe, it’s a by-product of the paper industry, made from residue of the pulping process, using wood from sustainably managed forests. Overall it has a lower carbon footprint (up to 51%) than its fossil-based counterparts.
Using paper on chilled canned products is not feasible due to considerable condensation, which causes labels to wrinkle and tear, so before Forest Film appeared as an option there was little choice but to use petroleum-derived film when labelling drinks.
Co-owner Jess Magill says,
“We’re delighted to have made the switch to Forest Film. The print quality is great, so there’s no compromise on performance. It is a bit more expensive, but I think as a responsible business you have to make decisions based on more factors than just profit. Hopefully as these alternatives to petroleum-based plastics get more popular, the price will come down.
“Sustainability is a journey and this is another step in the right direction. We have minimised our plastic use, use recyclable and biodegradable packaging for our mail order service, and clean and re-use supposedly ‘single-use’ items like keg caps. We also repurpose cardboard boxes that we receive for our own deliveries and have switched to a paper-free office.
“We also believe that supporting local is a big part of sustainability, so we endeavour to source as many of our goods and services as possible from Devon or the South West, and encourage others to do the same.”
“The more local businesses can support each other, the better our local economy gets,” says co-owner John Magill.
“Where possible, stop putting money in the pockets of multinational corporations, and look at the quality and value available on your doorstep. Customers respond well to it, you usually get much better service and develop good business relationships. It’s a win-win.
“Brewing is an energy intensive industry, so it’s important to drive improvements where we can. We have learned that the sustainability journey is one of many small steps. The key is to keep improving bit by bit.”