Heineken is working in partnership with Glass Futures and container glass manufacturer Encirc to produce glass bottles using up to 100% recycled glass and low carbon biofuel, replacing high carbon natural gas.

The trial, which is in its early stages, will see 1.4 million bottles of Heineken produced with the intent of hitting supermarket shelves in the UK with this glass in early 2021.

If successful, the trial could set the path for a reduction in the use of carbon in glass manufacturing.

The concept is currently being tested in the UK in a joint project with Encirc, utilising Glass Futures’ technology funded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Made from waste organic materials, biofuels are a renewable and much more sustainable fuel source than those traditionally used by the glass sector, and can reduce the production carbon footprint of each bottle by up to 90%.

Additionally, by using up to 100% recycled glass to produce the new bottles, the trial has been able to minimise even further the environmental impact of these products.

Matt Callan, Brewing and Operations Director, Heineken UK said: “The trial is a huge step forward in finding a scalable solution to reducing carbon from glass manufacturing.

“This is a great example of working together with different suppliers to advance sustainable practices.

“Testing 1.4m bottles in the market will provide much needed insight into the practicalities of introducing an ultra-low carbon option with glass, and the results will inform further development with the eventual goal of introducing low carbon bottles at scale.”

Richard Katz, Chief Executive of Glass Futures added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Heineken and Encirc on this very important project utilising Glass Futures technology which is already well on the way to setting new standards in low carbon glass products and processes.

“This pilot is helping the sector move towards a sustainable zero carbon future and demonstrates very clearly what can be achieved when the industry, partners and funders all work together.”