Why Coors Is Making A Huge Change To Its Packaging

Any product that's been around for well over a century is bound to evolve to keep up with the times. That's certainly the case for Coors Light, a Coors Brewing product that hit the scene in 1978 and is now the United States' second-largest beer brand. While many of Coors' aesthetic changes over the years may have been for the better (when's the last time you saw a flat-top can?), it turns out that there's one old packaging detail that the company never should have abandoned. This one has to do with the environment. 

In a recent press release, Coors Light announced that it plans to devote $85 million to doing away with plastic six-pack rings and "[transitioning] to fully recyclable and sustainably sourced cardboard-wrap carriers later this year," per Food & Wine. Interestingly enough, these "traditional" carriers may not be too dissimilar from the ones Coors was working with several decades ago. What's more, parent company Molson Coors has vowed to create cardboard carriers for all the brands in its North American portfolio by 2025, which "should save 1.7 million pounds of plastic waste annually."

How Coors says its new packaging will affect the environment

The environmental toll of plastic waste found its way into the public discourse back in the 1960s, per the Science History Institute, but it's only recently that large companies have begun trading in their synthetic packaging for more climate-friendly alternatives. For beer companies, the universal culprit are those sturdy six-pack rings (known in the biz as yokes and hi-cones) that pollute the ocean and pose a strangulation threat to marine creatures.

According to Food & Wine, Coors joins Budweiser and Guinness in transitioning away from plastic rings — though this isn't the first time that Coors has switched up its packaging for environmental reasons. In 1959, Bill Coors pushed for the two-piece recyclable aluminum can, which "revolutionized the beverage industry," per the brand's website. Now, by eliminating plastic rings across the Coors Light brand alone, the beer giant says it will prevent 400,000 pounds of single-use plastic from winding up in the ocean each year. Climate-conscious beer drinkers, take note.