Labatt invests $52.6 million in its London brewery to add enviro-friendly alternative to six-pack plastic rings and broaden canning capabilities
Photo: The new KeelClip packaging system is being introduced at the Labatt London brewery
LABATT BREWERIES OF Canada is undertaking a direct injection of $461.5 million through its capital program focused on sustainability, innovation and production enhancements that will have significant impact on its breweries and operations across the country.
Included in that capital is a $52.6 million investment in its London plant to convert to new environmentally friendly packaging that will see the end of plastic packaging for six packs, and the addition of a new “sleek” beer can line.
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The new KeelClip packaging system – a minimal material fastener solution made of recyclable fibre paperboard – will be put into use at Labatt’s London brewery by December. The high-tech, automated system, which will also be in use at the firm’s Montreal brewery, is the first of its kind in North America and will replace the use of plastic rings, tops and shrink film, reducing the company’s overall single-use plastic usage in early 2022 by nearly 152,000 kilograms.
Labatt aims to reduce 242,000 kilograms of single-use plastic in Canada by 2024.
“This important investment is a commitment to our communities and to our people, ensuring they have the resources needed to do what they do best so Labatt can contribute to Canada now and for years to come,” said Jeff Ryan, Labatt VP legal & corporate affairs. “It will allow us to reduce our environmental footprint and enable our breweries for future growth as we continue to meet the changing needs and tastes of Canadians and work toward our global sustainability goals.”
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Additional capital investment in the London production line has equipped the brewery to grow its volume by about 25 per cent, as well as accommodate a wider range of can sizes, including traditional beer cans, tall boys and new sleek can sizes which are gaining popularity across a wide number of brands.
Labatt’s Vancouver, Creston, Halifax, and St. John’s breweries will also benefit from the capital investment. This will include technology and equipment upgrades that will drive production and environmental efficiencies and prepare the breweries for future growth. Non-brewery investments will benefit provincial operations such as technology and warehousing enhancements, and commercial initiatives.