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28th April 2019

Family business keeping plastic beverage kegs out of landfill

WDS Group sales director Sam Evans

WDS Group and KeyKeg are to kick-start a closed-loop recycling programme for KeyKegs for the North of England. Most plastic beverage kegs in the UK are not recycled and often end up in landfill. To overcome this problem, WDS Group have teamed up with OneCircle to create a circular programme which recycles the basic materials from KeyKegs turning them into new, useable KeyKegs.

The programme was launched as a pilot scheme in London and now WDS Group have taken up the baton for the North. WDS Group will collect the used KeyKegs from bars and deliver them to plastic recycling specialist OneCircle, where the KeyKegs are then processed and turned back into KeyKegs.

Packaging producer Lightweight Containers, the company behind KeyKeg, initiated OneCircle. Together with its customers, beverage distributors and bars, OneCircle is building a community that is eagerly collecting KeyKegs and preparing them for processing. OneCircle is responsible for the recycling and transportation of KeyKegs.

WDS Group, a family run wholesale business and distributor in Bury, Greater Manchester, sees new opportunities with the collection of KeyKegs. Sam Evans, Sales Director: “We estimate that more than 500,000 KeyKegs end up in Manchester alone every year and it is great that we can now use them as raw materials again. It meets a huge need. Many bars and breweries have heard that we are going to process KeyKegs and have spontaneously saved them up. It is clear to them that a lot of plastic ends up in landfill and they want to prevent that from happening. The time has come to work together with packaging producers on closed loops, and OneCircle is leading the way.”

Annemieke Hartman from OneCircle: “We are very pleased to welcome WDS group to the OneCircle community. WDS group is among the leaders in sustainability and together with OneCircle they are expanding this lead. By reusing the raw materials from KeyKegs we lower the CO2 footprint of their beer to the lowest in the industry.

“We’re aiming to support the reuse of the raw materials in KeyKegs and UniKegs worldwide. Ideally this would be to make the next KeyKegs, but we want to minimise our ecological footprint, so it may be more sustainable in some situations to make them into other high-quality recycled products. We can recycle our kegs now because years ago we designed the KeyKeg & UniKeg with circularity in mind. We have developed various collection models and recycling methods and work together with waste companies, brewers and beverage distributors such as WDS Group. We have developed tools that allow our supply chain to separate the valuable materials and are actively looking for people and companies to join our fast-growing collection community.”

In England, OneCircle is building a nationwide collection network. Members of the network collect and crush the KeyKegs into bales. OneCircle collects the bales and transports around 10,000 KeyKegs per truckload to the processing plant.

A KeyKeg consists of 81% PP and PET, two types of plastics that can be reused as a circular raw material. The rest of the materials can be used in other high-quality applications. Each KeyKeg already consists of 30% recycled material. This share will increase further to 35% this year. For 2020 another 5% extra recycled content is planned.

For further information about OneCircle, visit


Notes to editors:

Lightweight Containers is the producer of KeyKeg and UniKeg: the world’s leading one-way beverage kegs. Since it was founded in Den Helder, the Netherlands in 2006, Lightweight Containers has grown into a global market leader. The company serves its customers from warehouses and sales offices worldwide and operates production facilities in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and of course the Netherlands.

WDS Group are a dedicated family run team of 20 people offering a distinctive range of over 2500 products to a variety of business across the North West. Founded in 2009 they are consistently improving their unique range by listening to their customers’ needs and keeping them at the heart of everything they do. Aiming to become a leading figure in wholesale, their partnership with Lightweight Containers demonstrates their forward thinking and dynamic approach.

OneCircle is an initiative of Lightweight Containers, started in 2018. The company offers solutions for the recycling of one way kegs worldwide, with the aim of making them completely circular (meaning that all the materials in a keg are used to make new kegs or other high end products). They use new, unique collection methods, networks and technologies. They currently employ 7 people and their activities are expanding rapidly.

One Circle’s activities are continuous work in progress, but we are committed to taking responsibility for the end of life of our kegs and to partnering with relevant businesses to create a circular economy.

More information:

OneCircle, Robbert-Jan Knoppers

+31 888225700

WDS Group, Sam Evans

+44 7757970793