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UK publicans urged to consider eco-friendly options for disposing of spoiled beer

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Water industry trade body Water UK and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have joined forces to ask pub landlords to act quickly to ensure waste beer can be processed efficiently and sustainably.

According to the BBPA, in most cases, beer that has become unsaleable as a result of the COVID-19 crisis will need to be destroyed in the pub; however where a robust risk assessment allows for the recovery of beer kegs and casks, publicans are being urged to consider other options for repurposing spoilt beer, such as anaerobic digestion.

Water companies are standing by to help and have made it “as easy as possible” to dispose of beer by making disposal applications simpler, cutting bureaucracy and waiving fees, according to the BBPA. To protect the environment, the organisation said it is vital that pubs get the permission of their water company before disposing of beer into the sewer.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “It is vital that pubs are able to open their doors and get back to serving their customers and local communities as soon as possible on 4 July.

“The BBPA has been working closely with government and the water industry to ensure pubs are prepared for re-opening, including destroying beer that has become unsaleable as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown and disposal via the sewer where this is possible.

“We would encourage all landlords and publicans to get any applications in to water companies as soon as they can to ensure a smooth process ahead of 4 July.”

“We’re really keen to see pubs open their doors again and have been doing everything we can to help make that happen,” said Christine McGourty, chief executive of Water UK. “We obviously have to consider the environmental problems that can be caused by putting large quantities of beer in the sewer system, where it can reach rivers and waterways. It’s important this process is managed carefully to avoid any damage to fish and marine life.

“The quicker landlords can get applications in, where there is no alternative disposal route, the easier it will be for water companies to help them open in time, and we’re all looking forward to that.”