Two drinks brands have announced plans to change their approach to glass, as they look to become more sustainable and minimise supply chain issues.

Pernod Ricard’s Swedish vodka brand Absolut will change its bottle production to a partly hydrogen energy-fired glass furnace. The hydrogen initiative is described as “an important milestone” for Absolut in becoming CO2 neutral by 2030.

Absolut has signed an agreement with Ardagh Glass Packaging in Limmared, Sweden, to use this partly hydrogen-fired furnace, commencing in the second half of 2023.

The use of hydrogen would reduce Absolut vodka’s carbon footprint from glass by 20%, the company said.

Bo Nilsson, managing director of Ardagh Glass Limmared said: “Our industry needs to be less reliant on fossil fuels and transition at pace to using more green energy. By investing in this new technology, we are embarking on a journey to reduce the carbon footprint of our glass packaging. There are challenges with such innovation, but we are committed to being an early mover in future-proofing our glass manufacturing operations world-wide.”

Meanwhile, AG Barr’s Funkin Cocktails has switched to British glass manufacturer Beatson Clark, having previously used standard glass bottles imported from overseas. 

The new bottle is made of amber glass rather than white flint, which Beatson Clark said contains “60% recycled materials and which offers better protection from ultraviolet light than clear glass”.

Ben Anderson, marketing director at Funkin Cocktails, said the new bespoke bottle will help to premiumise the brand, while sourcing from a UK manufacturer will ensure its supply chain is robust and reduce its carbon footprint. 

Lynn Sidebottom, sales and marketing director at Beatson Clark, added: “We are seeing more and more customers coming to us who were previously buying their glass packaging from overseas. 

“Sustainability and reliability in supply lines is increasingly important these days; if you buy British you support British manufacturing, you get a high-quality product, you minimise risk and you lower your impact on the environment.”