Reuse is brewtiful: beer can clip circular economy scheme expands to SA and WA

By Rose Mary Petrass

Hospitality and liquor business Endeavour Group (owner of BWS and Dan Murphy’s) has announced that they are raising the bar on the reuse of the clips used in their beer cans with an expansion of the initiative to South Australia and Western Australia already underway.

After rolling out the beer can clip recycling scheme in selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores on the eastern seaboard last year, the company has partnered with local brewery Prancing Pony in Totness SA, and start-up Donut Waste in Perth WA. 

“Many beer lovers are familiar with the can clips that hold four and six packs of brews together, but most probably don’t realise that the clips are made of such sturdy material that they can be reused multiple times before being recycled and made into new clips,” said Endeavour Group sustainability manager Sam Lungerhausen.

Sharka Hornakova from sustainability start-up Donut Waste

Founder of Donut Waste, Sharka Hornakova with the PakTech can clips her start-up will collect, wash, pack and resell at a discounted price.

How does it work? 

According to the Endeavour Group, PakTech can clips are made from 100 per cent recycled HDPE material. 

But reuse is higher up in the circular economy hierarchy than recycling. 

So the program allows for stores to reuse the sturdy beer can clips which would normally be recycled or end up in landfill. 

Customers place their used can clips in the can clip collection units in selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores, which are then picked up by the local reuse partner. 

In the case of WA start-up Donut Waste, the business will collect the clips, wash and pack them and sell them back to breweries for a discounted price. 

In the case of SA brewery Prancing Pony, the brewery will clean and reuse the clips in their own production.

“It reduces waste and at the same time, it is convenient for shoppers as they can return these clips on their way to buy their favourite beverages,” Prancing Pony chief executive officer and founder Corinna Steeb said. 

Donut Waste founder Sharka Hornakova said: “I found out that West Australian BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores didn’t have the collection units yet. So I thought to myself: ‘Why can’t I do it? I’m already driving around picking up coffee grounds, might as well pick those up’!” 

beer can clip recycling

This beer can clip collection unit allows customers to responsibly dispose of their beer can clips.

“Our aim is to make enough money to cover our expenses so we can make the whole process economically viable. Finding solutions that financially stack up is very important on a local as well as global scale to move us towards the circular economy.” 

South Australia’s minister for environment and water David Speirs said: “this is an excellent example of practical environmental action… which will see less plastic end up in landfill or on our streets as litter”.

Last year the state rolled out a historic ban on single-use plastic.

NSW also passed laws to ban single-use plastics in food service items and some personal hygiene products. 

Mr Lungerhausen claims that the scheme fills a gap in multi-state recycling schemes for consumers to responsibly dispose of their can clips without them ending up in landfill. 

South Australian and West Australian customers can find the recycling units in the following BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores: 

  • Dan Murphy’s Norwood,  97 The Parade, Norwood SA 5067
  • Dan Murphy’s Mount Barker,  52/60 Hutchinson St, Mount Barker SA 5251
  • BWS Adelaide, 15-17 Gilbert St, Adelaide SA 5000
  • BWS  Stirling 62 Mount Barker Rd, Stirling SA 5152
  • Dan Murphy’s Hyde Park – Cnr Bulwer and, Fitzgerald St, West Perth WA 6005
  • Dan Murphy’s Innaloo, 401 Scarborough Beach Rd, Innaloo WA 6018
  • Dan Murphy’s Bicton, 378 Canning Hwy, Bicton WA 6157
  • BWS Mt Hawthorn, 223 Scarborough Beach Rd, Mount Hawthorn WA 6016
  • BWS Bullcreek, Bullcreek Shopping Centre, 44 Benningfield Rd, Bull Creek WA 6149
  • BWS Perth, 231 Hay St, East Perth WA 6004