Czech beermaker Gambrinus will discontinue plastic bottles as of January 2020

The company says its aim is to reduce unnecessary plastic waste and restore traditional beer culture to the Czech Republic

Katrina Modrá

Written by Katrina Modrá Published on 26.11.2019 14:12:28 (updated on 26.11.2019) Reading time: 2 minutes

Gambrinus brewery will be the first major beer brand in the Czech Republic to stop selling beer in plastic bottles. Its parent company Plzeňský Prazdroj has announced that the brand will discontinue production of beer in PET bottles as of January 1, 2020. 

“Gambrinus has decided to go the way of common sense and stop producing more plastic where it is not needed. We also respond to the wishes of our consumers, for whom not only the quality of the product is important, but also what we make packaging from,” says Plzeňský Prazdroj’s marketing director Roman Trzaskalik.

He adds, “Czechs are a beer nation that still prefers bottled and draft beer.”

The company shared this photo across its social media

As a result, the brewery says it will reduce plastic production by 334 tonnes per year. Gambrinus will continue to be available to customers in glass bottles, cans, and barrels and beer tanks in pubs and restaurants.

Gambrinus beer in PET bottles is expected to disappear completely from shelves between January and February. In addition to ending sales of its PET bottles, Gambrinus will begin using 100% recycled plastic film for packing cans.

“Overall, Gambrinus will reduce plastic production by more than 330 tonnes in 2020 alone, which is about 14 fully loaded trucks,” says Trzaskalik.

The decision to discontinue Gambrinus in plastic bottles is the first major step towards sustainable packaging across Plzensky Prazdroj’s portfolio and is part of a long-term broader sustainability strategy for the entire company.

According to research provided by Czech consumer magazine Kupi, In 2018, 12% of beer in the Czech Republic was sold in PET bottles (about every tenth beer consumed) though that number is slightly decreasing. Additional data includes:

Gambrinus, a legendary king of Flanders known for his mythical brewing abilities

  • Bottled 40%
  • Barrel 34%
  • PET bottles 12%
  • Cans 11%

Beer in PET bottles was introduced to the Czech Republic twenty years ago.

Gambrinus also says that the move is intended to support a stronger Czech beer culture encouraging a return to enjoying beer from barrels and tanks in a pub setting.

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