Czech brewer Budweiser Budvar is joining the movement by leading beer and cider producers to cut down on plastic packaging.

Budweiser Budvar UK is trialling a cardboard holder across the top of its six-packs in 168 Waitrose stores.

Smurfit Kappa’s Top Clip packaging solution is made from sustainably-sourced paper and the lager brewer said it could save a metric tonne of single-use plastic waste in its first year, the equivalent of 250,000 plastic bags.

The move comes weeks after Budweiser Budvar unveiled a new pack design in the UK market.

Simon George, managing director of Budweiser Budvar UK, said: “As a brewery owned by a nation, not a corporation, we have a particular responsibility to take a lead on packaging waste issues.

“The challenge has always been to offer our premium beer in packaging that holds it safely and securely, and sends the right message about the brand, as well as meeting our environmental obligations.

“We’re delighted to be working with the specialists at Smurfit Kappa, as well as Waitrose as our retail partner, to trial this new solution and play our part in the reduction of plastic waste in the supply chain.

“The initial results, in terms of both the robustness of the Top Clip and the response from consumers, are very promising.

“We’ll be assessing the trial carefully before offering the new packaging to other retail customers.”

Louise Witchell, beer buyer at Waitrose, said: “Reducing single-use plastic packaging is really important for us, and we know it is for our customers too.

“We’re sure our customers will enjoy seeing this new packaging on our shelves.”