Heineken to ditch plastic rings and shrink wrap
Beer brewer Heineken is the latest drinks brand to cut plastic on its packaging, removing plastic rings and shrink wrap from multipack cans.
The company is to replace the rings with cardboard toppers and will roll out the changes on Heineken, Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664 from next April. Other brands, including John Smith’s, Bulmer’s and Strongbow, will follow suit in 2021.
Heineken claimed that the move would remove 517 tonnes of plastic annually from the supply chain. The move is part of a £22m investment and the cardboard topper is said to be “robust and easy to grip”.
Heineken UK told Packaging News that it has been working with a Spanish company called Alzamora, who has developed the cardboard alternative. The design by Alzamora is not unique to Heineken but the brand understands that it is the first time it’s being used in the market by a beer and cider company on this scale. The cardboard is provided by BillerudKorsnas.
Cindy Tervoort, UK marketing director at Heineken, said: “The effect single-use plastic is having on our planet can’t be ignored. Creating an eco-friendly solution that eliminates plastic while still meeting the demands of our beer and cider drinkers has been a big focus in our business. Now, after years in development and huge investment, we’re extremely pleased to announce our recyclable and compostable topper innovation, a significant milestone in our journey to eliminate all single-use plastic.”
Diageo also made a switch from plastic ring carriers and shrink wrap earlier this year on its multipacks of Guinness. Carboard replaced plastic and other brands – Harp and Smithwick’s – would also make the switch.
Last year rival brewer Carlsberg announced the launch of glue technology to replace the plastic wrapping used around six packs. The brand also unveiled a paper beer bottle, which it claimed was a world first.
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