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Source reduction for beer in 12-packs

New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire beer, will remove paperboard partitions from 12-pack carriers.

Pw 5857 Nb Fat Tire

At current production levels, the move will eliminate 150 tons of paperboard from going into New Belgium packaging, while preventing 174 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. In addition, the transition will save New Belgium an estimated $280,000 in the coming year.

"We've designed a new 12-pack carton that will tighten the case to prevent bottles from hitting each other during transit," says director of operations Mark Fischer. "We ran the initial test of 2,500 cases into our local market with no complaints or breakage issues."

Known as an industry leader in minimizing resource consumption, New Belgium has long sought to reduce, reuse, and recycle throughout its production process. Reducing consumption of paperboard has the added benefit of cutting costs.

"We researched this decision thoroughly, and the vast benefits are hard to ignore," adds New Belgium's sustainability director, Jenn Orgolini. "We are continuously looking at new ways to improve our processes, and this shift makes a lot of sense."

Consumers will start seeing the new 12-packs immediately for some New Belgium beers, while the remainder of its existing Fat Tire inventory will be used through February 2009. "Folly" packs, or mixed 12-packs, will still use the partition due to the logistics of hand-packing.

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