The ugly truth about plastic kegs

How to export your beer wisely

  • Global Keg

Over the past decade, one-way plastic kegs have become an affordable and lightweight solution for breweries to ship their beer internationally or over long distances domestically. One-way plastic kegs became popular because they helped eliminate the cost of keg loss and retrieval for breweries shipping to a customer anywhere in the world. It took time for the industry to fully understand the inherent flaws in the one-way plastic keg model, but brewers can no longer ignore the blatant environmental, quality, safety and operational deficiencies that put your beer at risk when you ship using plastic kegs.

Sustainability - it's the planet, stupid

It’s true that with plastic one-way kegs you don’t have to deal with reverse freight or lost or stolen keg costs. However, the same is true for Global Keg’s fleet of stainless steel SmartKeg™ assets with the added benefit that our kegs don’t end up in a landfill where they’ll take more than 200 years to biodegrade. Our RFID tracking technology and proactive maintenance program ensures that our SmartKeg endure well beyond their normal 30-year lifespan and are reused dozens of times over the course of their life. That’s good for brewers and great for mother nature.

One-way plastic kegs aren’t recycled at the rate manufacturers would like you to believe. In fact, a study conducted by the European Commission determined that 41.8% of plastic intended for reuse will end up in landfills while a further 29.2% is burned in incinerators, releasing harmful toxins into the atmosphere. In addition, CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere every time a one-way plastic container is produced. If one of our stainless SmartKeg™ assets are damaged, it is immediately repaired and put back into circulation and traced throughout its life cycle. And if it can’t be repaired, it still has significant residual value and so is recycled for the stainless steel which can be reused.

The European Union is taking the lead in the fight against one-way plastics but hundreds of major cities across the globe have drafted plans to introduce a ban on single-use plastics, including one-way kegs, entirely. The EU’s plans to ban single-use plastics are expected to pass before the spring of 2019, but that doesn’t mean hope is lost for brewing companies like yours to reach your customers in an affordable way while minimizing keg loss. That’s why we introduced the one-way stainless steel Global SmartKeg providing a high quality, truly sustainable solution for breweries worldwide.

You may have read that plastic kegs make it easier to break into new markets. Fact is, they're just easier to break.

Plastic Keg Crushed for Recycling

The quality of the keg affects the quality of the beer

Single-use plastic kegs can also contaminate the taste of the beer you worked so hard to perfect. You don’t put your beer in clear bottles because you know that light would decrease its quality. So, why would you settle for a clear plastic keg to export your brew internationally? (You’d be surprised how many translations there are for the word “skunk”.) Stainless steel kegs have remained the industry norm over the decades because they completely protect the beer inside from UV-rays, CO2 leaks, and from oxygen gaining entry to the container.

You’re probably all too familiar with the fact that once your shipment is loaded onto the truck, the quality of your product is at the mercy of the distributors and retailers. You may also be aware that plastic kegs take far longer to cool down than steel kegs. So, if that shipment sits in a warehouse for an extended period of time, takes too long in transit or remains untapped for an extended duration at the retailer, the quality of your beer is likely to be compromised.

Our SmartKeg™ technology delivers real-time data insights that empower you to proactively manage the distribution, inventory, and freshness of your beer. And when your brew is paired with the unique identifying number on every one of our Global Kegs, you can quickly access this valuable information from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Evolve the way you export - eliminating borders for breweries

Cheers, Prost, Cin Cin, Salud, Santé, Gun Bae! Accessing foreign markets is now far easier than learning the language. Especially when you don’t have to worry about retrieving kegs from your customers located 3,000+ miles away. Still, your brewery and your beer deserve more value from kegs when your product is traveling further distances and spending extended amounts of time in transit.

Accessing international markets requires sustainable and affordable solutions for your cooperage. Your kegs can (and should) improve your supply chain efficiency so you’re able to avoid empty keg lines while meeting the growing demand for your beer. Distributors, importers, retailers and international governments alike are encouraging the use of more sustainable, one-way stainless steel kegs. Ship smarter and tap into the opportunities represented by the world’s first trackable stainless steel keg fleet with no border restrictions.

We’re partnering with breweries like yours to eliminate keg attrition and help you expand into new global markets in a risk-free way. With Global Keg, you can lift the cap off your potential for profits with traceable SmartKeg™ and SmartReturn™ technologies.

In three simple steps online, you can place and receive your rental keg order. That’s it. Just tell us how many kegs you need and when you need them. We’ll take care of the rest. We’ll do the legwork for and handle the headache of kegs so you can focus on making great beer. Together we can reduce plastic waste and get your beer into the hands of thirsty customers, no matter the language they speak!

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