The programme has been launched as a pilot scheme in London where First Mile collects used KeyKegs from bars and delivers them to plastic recycling specialist OneCircle, where they are then processed and turned back into KeyKegs.
More than 90% of the plastic kegs in the UK are KeyKegs, so once rolled out, this initiative will dramatically reduce the number of plastic kegs being thrown into general waste and potentially ending up in landfill.
Lightweight Containers, the company behind KeyKeg, is building a community that is eagerly collecting KeyKegs and preparing them for processing. OneCircle, an initiative of Lightweight Containers, is responsible for the recycling and transportation of KeyKegs.
Meeting a huge need
First Mile, a carbon-neutral waste processor working for more than 25,000 companies in London, sees new opportunities with the collection of KeyKegs. Its chief commercial officer, Joe Allen, said: “We estimate that more than 500,000 KeyKegs end up in London every year and it is great that we can now use them as raw materials again.
“It meets a huge need. Many bars have heard that we are going to process KeyKegs and have spontaneously saved them up. It is clear to them that a lot of plastic ends up in landfill and they want to prevent that from happening. The time has come to work together with packaging producers on closed loops, and KeyKeg is leading the way.”
Annemieke Hartman, from OneCircle, added: “We’re aiming to re-use the raw materials worldwide. Ideally this would be to make the next KeyKegs, but we want to minimise our ecological footprint, so it may be more sustainable in some situations to make them into other high-quality recycled products.
“We can recycle our kegs now because years ago we designed the KeyKeg and UniKeg with circularity in mind. We have developed various collection models and recycling methods, and are supporting circular solutions around the globe.
“We work together with brewers, beverage distributors and innovative waste companies, such as First Mile and GroenCollect. We have developed tools that allow our supply chain to separate the valuable materials and are actively looking for people and companies to join our fast-growing community.”