Moving towards net zero: Robinsons Brewery and AD Circular

Moving towards net zero: Robinsons Brewery and AD Circular


Collaboration is key to reaching our shared climate goals. At Avery Dennison, we focus not only on reducing the environmental impact of our own operations, but on supporting our supply chain partners to reduce their impacts as well. 

One of the many ways we do this is with AD Circular, our pioneering program which enables the recycling of used PET and glassine label liners in countries across Europe. We collect used liners and work with trusted partners to recycle and transform them into high-value items, working together to create a circular economy where nothing goes to waste.

One of our program partners is Robinsons Brewery, a UK-based, independent family brewer of beloved beers like the classic Unicorn premium ale and Old Tom strong ale. At their Unicorn Packaging Centre in Bredbury, UK, they cask and keg their own brews and also bottle products for other brands, producing around 20 million bottles per year. 

We spoke with Rick Fisher, their Packaging Manager, and Isabelle Masters, their Retail Environmental Champion, about the impact AD Circular has had on their sustainability initiatives and goals.

Describe the Robinsons approach to sustainability.

From the beginning, our core values have promoted the longevity of our future generations. This naturally has transferred into our sustainability approach, through fostering practices and policies that not only improve environmental well-being, but also the social and economic systems within our family network. We acknowledge that there may be many obstacles on the road to net zero, but we will continue to develop appropriate strategies and adapt where necessary to meet our 2040 goals.

Why did you join AD Circular? What problems were you facing?

We are constantly working on our consumption of energy and resource use. For example, we have reduced our glass bottle thickness, resulting in less raw material input and enhanced fuel efficiency per load for product distribution. In this case, we did a site review of our materials and their disposal, which made it clear we had to change some of our disposal methods, including for our used PET liners. 

After quite some research and tips from our partners The Label Makers, we found that Avery Dennison, with its aligned values and ambitious goals for the future, was the perfect fit to help us recycle our used label liners. Working with AD circular gives us the ability to divert our used PET liners from landfill and contribute to creating a circular economy. We deemed this an unmissable opportunity to reduce our scope 3 emissions.

Moving towards net zero: Robinsons Brewery and AD Circular

Bottles of Robinsons beer before they are labeled

How does AD Circular support Robinsons’ sustainability goals?

AD Circular supports our waste reduction goals and helps us invest in an innovative system that ensures that a large volume of previously unrecyclable plastic - approximately 17 tons of used liners per year - will never see landfill. It has reduced our reliance on traditional local waste collection services, which don’t have the facilities to process every type of plastic we use. As we pave the way to net zero, it is a priority for us to eliminate our historical landfill use practices.

Has your business experienced any additional benefits from AD Circular?

The ability to have regular low-volume collections, unlike with other recycling services, means we always have ample space in the warehouse for our products. More importantly, switching up the way we separate our waste plastics and ensuring no contamination between them has shown our team the importance of recycling in the workplace, empowered them to query and suggest climate-positive changes to methods, and improved the overall standard of waste segregation across our operations.

Moving towards net zero: Robinsons Brewery and AD Circular

Robinsons team members with a used liner collection box

Why is it important that brands commit to sustainability, collaborate, and also promote their efforts?

We understand that we must be responsible for our emission producing activities, including our up- and downstream supply chains. Our clients have also started creating their own scoring systems to ensure that all elements of their supply chains are working to reduce their emissions in line with net zero targets. The changes we make not only benefit us, but also everyone we work with.

To accelerate our progress, in 2022 we joined the Zero Carbon Forum, an initiative of leading food and beverage brands, and have aligned our plans with their brewing and hospitality net zero roadmaps. This forum provides a platform to share our thoughts, improve our understanding of climate-positive actions from a hospitality perspective, and discuss steps to further reduce emissions. 

It has also boosted morale in the sector. Across the hospitality and brewing industries, we are all working towards the same goals. Openly sharing our efforts, setbacks, and successes enhances the value of the knowledge gained and is vital for progress.

Moving towards net zero: Robinsons Brewery and AD Circular

Bottles of Robinsons beers, whose label liners will now be recycled

Learn more

If you wish to learn more about the AD Circular program, click here

Are you a brand owner or converter interested in recycling used paper and filmic label liners? Contact us to learn more about how AD Circular can help and start your free trial period.