Each year the loss and misuse of kegs and casks costs the beer industry in excess of £50m.

Hundreds of thousands of kegs go missing in the pub trade, this is a serious problem and makes the beer sector unsustainable. The mounting bill affects everyone, including pubs, licensees and ultimately their customers.

It is only by working together that we can tackle this problem and ensure costs are controlled. We really need your help!

When it comes to the safe and secure management of kegs and casks, everyone, from brewers to wholesalers and pubs, has an important role to play.

That is why the trade has been working together to ensure we all play a role in encouraging best practice in container management – at every stage in the supply chain.

There are six key things you need to do to ensure you are adopting best practice in your management of kegs and casks.

Use these ‘fixes’ as your constant checklist.

    Store them safely. Store all containers in a safe place, preferably inside, from delivery to collection.
    If containers are left outside, secure them and don’t use them for any other purpose.
    Always return empty containers on each delivery and request. The prompt collection of surplus empties ensures containers always move efficiently through the system.
    Check your delivery note when your empties are collected and ensure you check that the right numbers are entered on the delivery note.
    Always sign your delivery note for both ‘fulls’ and ‘empties’.
    If in doubt, ask for identification, only authorised staff will collect your empties.

Kegs and casks are a vital part of Britain’s brewing and pub heritage. Our beer and pub industry just wouldn’t work without them. The supply of draught beer on such a scale is unique to Britain, and something to be very proud of.

We must work as an industry to protect our system of delivering beer, and ensure it remains viable and sustainable.

When it comes to managing containers, everyone benefits from storing kegs safely, securely and returning them promptly. A reduction in keg losses will help to manage soaring costs and mitigate the extent to which everyone in our industry is affected.

Kegs and casks are good for the environment. At any given time, there are up to 8 million kegs in use in the UK. They avoid the use of around 7.5 billion bottles or cans every year.

Having problems getting your empties collected? Call 0808 100 1945

Further information on container management is available on the BBPA website here.

To identify the owner of a lost keg, check the BBPA colour banding database here.

You can download and print this guidance as a colour leaflet by clicking here.

Did you know?


the number of pubs in the UK.