Working with plastics in the brewing industry for over a decade, we commonly face reservations to the use of plastics, with a prejudice that plastics are tacky or cheap when compared to steel. No doubt similar sentiments were expressed when the first aluminium and steel cask were produced to replace wood, or more recently, when electric cars entered the market as a replacement for the internal combustion engine. New technology always faces opposition, until the benefits can be proven and the solution becomes cost effective and sustainable. For brewers, whilst we would not wish to denigrate steel in any fashion, sometimes plastics can offer the better option in certain applications, casks and kegs certainly being two of them.
In today’s world, highly sophisticated science and technologies are used to produce engineering plastics that vary from the apparently simple polymers, replacing their steel counterparts in all manner of production environments, in products including cars, aircraft and ships. Whilst we are all striving to reduce single use plastics, recyclable plastic and especially those used in long lasting, multiple use products, do offer many advantages over more traditional materials. From reduced weight, increased chemical resistance and reduced cost, to toughness and strength, plastics do offer many benefits for use in the brewing industry.
Our containers have been tested to the same standards of steel, providing reliability and high performance even under the most rigorous operating conditions. Our ISO 9002 quality management systems ensure that your kegs are perfect every time. Being lighter than steel will mean you will save transport costs whilst increasing payload. Over hundreds of trips our casks will save significantly on fuel usage, reducing costs whilst better protecting the environment around us. Easily handled when empty, being lighter will also make deliveries easier and much quieter than when using steel kegs. Pubs and hotels in residential areas will appreciate the difference, as well as local nature and habitats, with vastly reduced noise pollution.
Combining two of the latest, cutting edge technologies, our plastic kegs when combined with our track and trace management solution protects the integrity of your asset, keeping you in touch with your keg fleet and allowing you to maximise efficiency. Managing steel kegs is expensive, with over forty million pounds worth of kegs stolen or damaged each year in this country and Ireland alone. Worldwide, the scale of theft is massive, with so many being stolen for their scrap value or for other uses such as barbecues or water butts. With the amount of kegs globally sold per year tallying up to fourteen billion pounds, nearly a billion pound of that is losses from stock. Using plastic, this issue becomes one of the past, with no scrap value and the bulk of the container still being recyclable.
The benefits of plastic are wide ranging, and when used in the right way, can make a positive difference in climate change and protecting the environment. Our kegs have been developed and created with an environmental conscience, using plastics to protect environments rather than pollute them. In an age of convenience and a throw away culture, now is the time to make positive steps forwards, for the right reasons, and to promote a product at the forefront of technology. Steel has set a high bar for decades, but we are confident, like electric cars and sustainable energy, that they will become the norm in a forward thinking economy.