Hats off to the new environmental campaign ‘recyclage de luxe’ from Stella Artois. Retro ads for recycled packaging, glass, and aluminum are now up, mainstreaming its efforts behind recycling. Having firmly established itself as ‘reassuringly expensive’ (albeit 2 cases are available for £16), with rather unfortunate associations with being the ‘wife beater’s beer”, it feels right expressing its environmental credentials in this way. Few businesses have the credibility or balls to do this; it’s too complicated and why bother putting your head above the parapet? Stella have told the interconnected story of waste and material use and made it central to their offering, bringing some much needed style to recycling.
The ads are good too with retro French mono tones, the packaging for each carved out of 60s fashioned materials including the can from a cool Citroen DS, film noir posters with a Twiggy style women and the glass forged from an old school tellie screen. I love the effort Stella have made and hope this approach inspires others. It’s a shame that more don’t talk about their environmental work. Although, of course the packaging only tells half the story; ‘beer miles’ are increasingly a critical environmental factor as well, many imported lagers could have traveled up to 24,000 miles before reaching you (with climate change, transporting liquids long distances is environmental madness). The best beers are those that have been produced locally to you. But of course Stella is only brewed across the Channel in Belgium. It will be interesting to see how Stella develop this campaign and whether InBev, who own Stella, take a holistic green look across all their beers. But any company that makes a difference to the planet gets my vote and should be supported by all beer drinkers.