After having successfully rolled out a beer can clip reuse and recycling program in selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores on the Eastern Seaboard – becoming the first Australian retailer to initiate and develop a circular scheme for the reuse and recycle of can clips – Endeavour Group has now expanded the recycling scheme to South Australia and Western Australia.
In South Australia, Endeavour Group has partnered with Prancing Pony Brewery.
Prancing Pony has been reusing can clips returned by customers to its brewery in Totness since 2019, cleaning the can clips and then reusing them which saves them money and is good for the environment.
Prancing Pony will now be collecting can clips from units in selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores in South Australia, importantly, providing increased collection points and making it even easier for the public to participate in the scheme.
Customers place used can clips in collection units in selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores, which are then picked up by Prancing Pony.
Once the can clips have been reused to the end of their lifespan, they are sent to Visy Recycling where they are converted into HDPE resin (high-density polyethylene), which is then returned to PakTech – the company that produces the can clips – so they can create more clips.
“This is an excellent initiative from the Endeavour Group as it reduces waste and at the same time, it is convenient for shoppers as they can return these clips on their way to buy their favourite beverages,” Prancing Pony CEO and founder Corinna Steeb said.
“We are passionate about reducing our environmental footprint at Prancing Pony, which is why we are excited about partnering with Endeavour Group. We have a 60kw solar system to reduce our grid electricity usage, all the grain left over after brewing goes to local pig farmers and we use recyclable and reusable materials as much as we can.”
In Western Australia, Endeavour Group has partnered with local founder of sustainability start-up Donut Waste, Sharka Hornakova. Customers place used can clips in the can clip collection units in selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores, which are then picked up by Hornakova.
“I read about Endeavour Group’s initiative and was super excited that this is finally happening, especially because collection of can clips is mostly about reuse which is much higher on the waste hierarchy than recycling,” Hornakova said.
“Then I found out that West Australian BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores didn’t have the collection units yet. So I thought to myself: ‘Why can’t I do it? I’m already driving around picking up coffee grounds, might as well pick those up’!
“We will collect, wash and pack them and sell them back to breweries for a discounted price. Our aim is to make enough money to cover our expenses so we can make the whole process economically viable. Finding solutions that financially stack up is very important on a local as well as global scale to move us towards the circular economy.”
Almost 30 stores across the country now have the collection units. Endeavour Group is aiming to roll out the circular scheme in more stores in 2022.
“Many beer lovers are familiar with the can clips that hold four and six packs of brews together, but most probably don’t realise that the clips are made of such sturdy material that they can be reused multiple times before being recycled and made into new clips,” Endeavour Group sustainability manager Sam Lungerhausen said.
“Can clips are a great option for a circular economy, but there have been no multi-state recycling options available for customers where they can return the clips so many end up in landfill, which is why we have initiated this industry-wide reuse and recycling scheme.”
South Australia Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said he welcomed the reuse and recycling initiative.
“This is an excellent example of practical environmental action by Prancing Pony and Endeavour Group which will see less plastic end up in landfill or on our streets as litter,” Speirs said.
“Last year [we] became the first state in the country to ban single-use plastics, so initiatives like this from the private sector are very much welcomed.
“Initiatives like this are good for the economy as well as the environment with more than three times as many jobs created for a tonne of waste reused or recycled instead of going to landfill.”