Diageo has announced that it will remove plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap from multipacks of beer brands including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s

The £16 million investment to reduce the amount of plastics used in beer packaging will see the the introduction of 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard, said the firm.

The move will reduce plastic waste equivalent of 40 million 50cl plastic bottles, it added.

“Great packaging is essential for our products. Consumers expect our packs to look beautiful, be functional, and sustainable. I am proud to announce this investment, through which we have been able to combine all three,” said David CutterDavid Cutter, chief sustainability officer at Diageo.

The new sustainable beer packs will be on shelves on the island of Ireland from August 2019 and from summer 2020 in Britain and other international markets.

Individual cans are fully recyclable, including the widget which is contained inside cans of Draught Guinness.

“We already have one of the most sustainable breweries in the world at St. James’s Gate and we are now leading the way in sustainable packaging. This is good news for the brand, for our wider beer portfolio and for the environment,” said Mark Sandys, global head of beer at Diageo.